A top Republican lawmaker from a deep red state just quit her party over its bigotry

As the Republican Party crumbles beneath the straining weight of its president’s prodigious criminality and incompetence, American conservatives are starting to flee in the hopes of escaping the blast zone of the eventual implosion. Now, the GOP has lost one of its own elected officials to defection.

According to the Shawnee Mission Post,  Kansas State Senator Barbara Bollier officially switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party this morning. She made it clear that her decision was in reaction to the direction her party has taken, referencing  “frustrations that have been ongoing for nine years.”

This time frame would fit rather closely with the birth and ascendancy of the Tea Party, which many now cite as the moment the Republican Party embraced the insanity and know-nothingism that has since come to define the GOP.

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“Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides. I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K-12 schools,” Bollier explained. Bollier also cited anti-transgender language in the Republican Party platform as something she could not abide.

State Senate leadership recently removed Bollier from her committee assignments after she supported Democrats in some of the midterm elections. This too played a part in her decision today.

“Once I was removed from my committees, it no longer made sense for me to try to represent my constituents as a Republican,” Bollier explained.

Bollier’s switch means that Democrats now hold 10 instead of 9 out of the 40 seats in the State Senate. Democratic Minority Leader Anthony Hensley welcomed Bollier to the party.

“We are excited to welcome Senator Bollier to our caucus. She has been a longtime friend and respected colleague with the best interests of Kansas at heart. Her expertise, pragmatism, and courage enrich the entire Kansas Legislature — regardless of whether she calls herself a Democrat or Republican,” said Hensley.

While Bollier’s decision won’t affect the outcome of future votes in the Kansas State Senate too much given the GOP’s continued stranglehold, it could be a sign of good things to come. More Republicans would be wise to follow her lead and jump ship immediately. There is no excuse for supporting the GOP while its leader is Donald Trump.

Original reporting by Jay Senter.

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Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.


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