BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore now has a Republican official, a rarity in the heavily Democratic city.

Frank Conaway, the clerk of the circuit court for Baltimore, announced Thursday he has decided to switch his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. He made the announcement after his swearing-in ceremony to a fifth term.

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Conaway, who is 81, says he has been a loyal Democrat since 1956. He says in a statement that all the party has shown him and his family “was a cold shoulder and the door.”

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His decision was cheered by Maryland Republican Party Chair Diana Waterman. She says Baltimore has not been represented by any Republicans “for way too long.”

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