Dem. State Rep. Bert Jones now (officially) a Republican (North Carolina)

Rep. Bert Jones, a Reidsville lawmaker who ran in 2010 as an unaffiliated candidate, is now officially a Republican, according to the State Board of Elections database....... "Welcome," said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis..... "He's been an invaluable freshmen member of the House......" Jones, a Dentist and former county commissioner, ousted incumbent Democrat Nelson Cole in 2010....... As an unaffiliated candidate, he had to collect signatures to get on the ballot and would have had to follow the same procedure in 2012 if he wanted to run as an unaffiliated member again...... By registering as a Republican, he can run in the GOP primary, an easier path to re-election.