Brown County Commissioner Richard Gist has announced he will run for his Precinct 3 seat as a Republican.

Gist said his decision to “change parties” is a personal one.

“My relationship to friends and supporters in either party is unchanged,” Gist said.

“I have enjoyed support from both parties and independent voters, and I will ask for their continued support.”

Gist, who has served as commissioner since 1992, has always run on the Democratic Party ticket.

The Precinct 3 commissioner’s post will be up for reelection in 2008.

The decision to change parties did not come suddenly or easily, Gist said.

“I have always been a conservative,” he said.

“My party affiliation does not affect the day-to-day decisions that have to be made. Many people vote for the person, not the party.”

Gist said that in the long process of making the decision, he had talked about his political concerns with people from both major parties.

“Both parties have changed somewhat since I was first elected,” Gist said.

“I feel now that this is a move I need to make. I believe in traditional conservative values.”