2 more Kansas Republicans just left their party to become Democrats

Two Kansas Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they would leave their party and join the Democratic minority because the GOP is no longer serving in the best interests of their state.

Kansas state Sen. Dinah Sykes and state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, who had identified as moderate Republicans in the past, announced their decisions ahead of the upcoming legislative session, which begins next month. The lawmakers said they were disappointed in Republican leaders who focused on “issues and approaches that divide our country,” as Sykes put it, rather than their constituents’ needs.

Clayton pointed to an effort to scrap a bipartisan school funding proposal that had been in the works for two years until the GOP said it would be too expensive.

“I have consistently campaigned on a pro-education, pro-business, pro-stability platform,” Clayton said in a statement. “I have been a proud Republican my entire life. However, the recent moves to support chaos in public policy have caused me great concern. I believe that I can better serve my constituents, and support education as a member of the Democratic Party.”

Sykes, who said she was a “moderate person who represents a moderate and pragmatic district,” echoed that statement, saying she did “not agree” with the Republican approach.

“I strongly believe elected officials should serve the people they represent. That belief drove me to run for office” Sykes said in a statement. “At this time, I feel like I can either fight to change the Republican party or fight for the state I love and the people I serve. I think I can better serve my state and constituents as a member of the Democratic party.”

The GOP still has a strong majority in both chambers of the Kansas legislature: 84-41 in the House and 28-11 in the Senate (which also has one independent). The state elected a Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, in last month’s midterm elections. She will be the first Democrat to lead the state in eight years.

Four Kansas Republican lawmakers have switched to the Democratic party this month. Along with Sykes and Clayton, state Sen. Barbara Bollier and outgoing state Rep. Joy Koesten announced they are leaving the GOP. 

Bollier said last week that despite her 43-year history as a registered Republican, she had developed “frustrations that have been ongoing” to the point of swapping afflictions. She also cited President Donald Trump as a leading influence in her decision.

“I cannot be complicit in supporting” the president, Bollier told the Kansas City Star. “I can’t call it leadership. I don’t even know what to call him. He is our president, but he is not representing my value system remotely.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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"The Middle" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton campaigned for Mitt Romney ahead of the 2012 presidential election. However, in early 2016 as fervor began to swirl around then-candidate Trump, she tweeted of the GOP, "If he's the nominee then it won't be my party."
Candace Cameron Bure is a conservative and even spent time as a panelist on "The View," where she sparred with her more liberal co-hosts. However, during the height of the 2016 election, she said she was "disappointed" in her party and the GOP candidates' behavior.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has said that if his felony conviction didn't prohibit him from voting, he would have voted for George W. Bush in the early 2000s.
While he rarely speaks publicly about politics, Adam Sandler is a registered Republican who donated to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign in 2007.
Caitlyn Jenner is one of few vocal transgender supporters of the GOP and has appeared on numerous conservative panel discussions since her transition from male to female. While she did vote for Trump, in October 2018, she said she regrets supporting him, proclaiming, "He has insulted our dignity."
Kris Jenner voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but in 2012, daughter Kim Kardashian told reporters, "The parents are Republicans and the children are Democrats so it’s like a political warfare in our household when we talk about politics.”
In addition to endorsing Republican candidates through the years, Vince Vaughn has also said he strongly supports the GOP stance on guns, suggesting that teachers in schools should be armed. He has not explicitly voiced support for Trump.
Cindy Crawford was a vocal supporter of Romney in 2012. However, she has stayed mum on Trump, who graphically discussed her physical characteristics during past interviews with Howard Stern.
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Actor and rapper LL Cool J attends the 13th Annual Apollo Theater Spring Gala on Monday, June 4, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)
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