Ill feelings from local and state Democratic leaders were expressed Tuesday over Limestone County Circuit Court Judge Bob Baker’s decision to switch parties.

Ron Gatlin, chairman of the Limestone County Democratic Executive Committee, released a statement late Monday that read, “It is unfortunate that Judge Baker has turned his back on the good folks of Limestone County who supported him and elected him to the 39th Circuit Court.”

Bradley Davidson, executive director of the state party, said he had heard rumors about Baker’s exit, so it didn’t come as a complete shock. He said the party still has a strong presence in Limestone County, and said “a few hundred” Democrats turned out at a regional meeting in Tanner to meet with Davidson and Kennedy.

“We were encouraged to see so many people there on a beautiful day,” said Davidson, who added there will certainly be a strong Democratic contender on the ballot against Baker in 2016. “We’re down, but definitely not out.”

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