October 1, 2022

GOP DEFECTOR: Colorado state senator switches parties out of disgust with Republicans

GOP DEFECTOR: Colorado state senator switches parties out of disgust with Republicans

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Colorado Republican State Senator Kevin Priola is hanging up his GOP credentials, after announcing on Monday that he’s switching to the Democratic Party – and Trump’s big lie is partly to blame. The lawmaker expressed disappointment with his party’s reaction to the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow the government, the refusal to hold Trump accountable for his actions inciting the Capitol riot, and the continuous denials that Trump lost the 2020 election.

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Priola wrote in a letter released on Monday a sentiment that will seem treasonous to the GOP hierarchy, saying that “we need Democrats in charge because our planet and our democracy depend on it.”

“Like many Coloradans, I watched the events on January 6th with horror. I felt that clearly, this would be the last straw and that my party would now finally distance itself from Donald Trump and the political environment he created. Week after week and month after month I waited for that response; it never came. I cannot continue to be a part of a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen,” he wrote.

Accusing the Republican Party of choosing to ignore the “attack on our democratic system,” the Colorado lawmaker refers to the actions of those in the party aligning with Trump’s lies, as an “existential threat.”

Home to staunch Trump allies like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R), and former Mesa County clerk Tina Peters – who is under federal indictment for tampering with voting machines and is an election-denying former GOP candidate for Colorado Secretary of State – Priola condemns the practice of running dissenting voices out of the party:

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“To my dismay, brave and honorable Republicans like Mike Pence, Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Adam Kinzinger have fought to defend the Constitution and the rule of law only to be met with ridicule and threats,” he argued.

Priola’s decision to switch political parties is a rarity, even with moderate and center-right Republicans who have broken free of Trump fever. Many of those, like Rep. Kinzinger (R-IL) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), have chosen not to seek re-election rather than abandon the GOP.

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The Colorado legislator also calls out the Republican Party’s constant denial of a climate crisis – citing former President Richard Nixon’s (R) creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and writing:

“My Republican colleagues would rather deny the existence of human-caused climate change than take action. I increasingly believe this inaction is counter to our responsibility as political leaders.”

The lifelong, self-described “Reagan” Republican has served four terms in the state House and two in the Senate as a conservative member of the GOP, but like Priola’s colleagues who have been pushed out of the now completely Tumpist party – either by retiring or being primaried out of office – the longtime politician is watching the death of the Republican Party in real-time.

Original reporting by Brad Reed at Raw Story

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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