Remarkably, the Republican Party’s platform has proven to many to be such a dud that they’re still losing ground more than a month after the midterm elections concluded. This Tuesday, a second and third Kansas state lawmaker announced they were dumping the GOP and becoming Democrats, both having concluded that they could no longer serve the real interests of the people of Kansas as Republicans.
The newest switches include state Senator Dinah Sykes and state Representative Stephanie Clayton.
In her explanation of her move, Sykes — who represents an area around Kansas City — didn’t zero in on a particular issue that drove her over the edge as much as she expressed how fed up she was with the GOP’s incessant commitment to a party line, or else.
As she put it:
‘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 am a moderate person who represents a moderate and pragmatic district that expects me to focus on issues and solutions that impact their day-to-day lives. Increasingly, I see the Republican party focusing on issues and approaches that divide our country. I do not agree with that approach.’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 19, 2018 Johnson County Senator to Change PartiesState Senator Dinah Sykes joins…
Posted by Senator Dinah Sykes on Wednesday, December 19, 2018
She’s the second Kansas City-area state Senator to announce they were leaving the Republican Party in the time since the midterms. Recently, state Senator Barbara Bollier did the same, citing a variety of issues including the party’s stance against transgender people and their dismissal of her from committee assignments over her support of Democrats in statewide races.
Despite the Republican Party’s best efforts, Democrats gained significant ground in the Kansas midterms. Democrat Laura Kelly beat the Trump-backed Republican Kris Kobach in the race to become the state’s next governor, and the state saw other significant electoral accomplishments, too, like Native American Democrat Sharice Davids’ victory over incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder.
Back in the Kansas state House, Rep. Clayton announced this week she was leaving the Republican Party over issues hinging on their dismissal of the public school system. In a move that’s been reflected as high up as the Trump administration, “[l]eaders in the Kansas House and Senate have now indicated that they will seek to scrap the bipartisan education plan achieved over the last two years,” she explained.
Thus, she continued this week:
‘My Republican Party, then, seems to no longer represent or serve the interests of the 19th District, Johnson County, or the State of Kansas. I have consistently campaigned on a pro-education, pro-business, pro-stability platform. I have been a proud Republican my entire life. However, the recent moves to support chaos in public policy have caused me great concern.’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19th, 2018OVERLAND PARK — State Representative Stephanie Clayton, a lifelong…
Posted by Kansas Representative Stephanie Clayton on Wednesday, December 19, 2018
As Clayton indicates, she also serves in the Kansas City area as a representative of Johnson County.
None of the recent switches will give Democrats control of a state legislative body, but they do ensure that the members’ voices are heard in a national environment that’s increasingly leaning that direction.
Come January, Democrats will be the majority party in the U.S. House after picking up some 40 seats from across the country, and they’ve indicated they’re gearing up to use that power to push the oversight of the Trump administration’s corruption they’ve been clamoring for.
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