Colorado Republican turns Democrat over ‘existential menace’ from GOP

Colorado Republican turns Democrat over ‘existential menace’ from GOP

Saying his swap to the Democrats, a Colorado state senator mentioned Republican assaults on democracy weren’t the one “existential menace” posed by his former celebration.

“I’ve develop into more and more frightened about our planet and the local weather disaster we face,” Kevin Priola mentioned, in a letter posted to social media on Monday.

“The Republican celebration I joined many years in the past created nationwide parks, preserved federal lands and guarded wildlife. President Nixon signed the laws that created the Environmental Safety Company (EPA). In the present day, my Republican colleagues would fairly deny the existence of human-caused local weather change than take motion.”

Priola mentioned such inaction would have an effect on Coloradans already topic to “a close to year-round wildfire season” and “a seemingly unending drought”.

Republican makes an attempt to dam “affordable local weather measures”, meant he couldn’t keep silent, he mentioned.

Priola was final elected in 2020, when he received a slim race within the twenty fifth senate district, within the Denver suburbs. He is because of serve till 2025.

As soon as a Republican bastion, Colorado has been trending left. Democrats already management the state senate, by 20-15 earlier than Priola’s swap.

In his letter, Priola mentioned dissatisfaction with the route of the Republican celebration beneath Donald Trump, the previous president who refuses to simply accept his defeat in 2020 whereas indicating he’ll run once more in two years’ time.

“Like many Coloradans,” Priola wrote, “I watched the occasions on January 6 [2021] with horror. I felt that clearly this is able to be the final straw and that my celebration would now lastly distance itself from Donald Trump and the political atmosphere he created.

“Week after week and month after month, I waited for that response. It by no means got here.”

Priola recommended “courageous and honorable” Republicans who stood in opposition to Trump after the Capitol assault, together with the Utah senator Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, the Wyoming congresswoman who final week misplaced her major after taking a number one position on the Home January 6 committee.

“Concern-mongering to boost cash or inspire voters is nothing new,” Priola wrote, “nevertheless it has been taken to a harmful and destabilising stage.

“I can’t proceed to be a part of a political celebration that’s OK with a violent try to overturn a free and honest election and continues to hawk claims that the 2020 election was stolen.”

Priola mentioned he grew to become a Republican due to the examples of Richard Nixon – the one president to resign in shame – and Ronald Reagan, however would now caucus with Democrats regardless of not sharing lots of their positions.

“Our affiliations have develop into too tribal,” he wrote. “I’ve at all times been an impartial thinker and … I don’t plan to vary that. I don’t imagine both celebration has a monopoly on the reality.

“As an example, my pro-life place, college selection [support] and pro-second modification stance typically run counter to the Democratic celebration platform.”

However, he mentioned, trying in the direction of November elections during which Republicans on the nationwide stage will search to take again Congress, “we’re within the midst of an election that can decide which celebration controls the [Colorado] senate chamber.

“Even when there proceed to be points that I disagree with the Democratic celebration on, there’s an excessive amount of at stake proper now for Republicans to be in cost.”

Saying he had determined to “align with fact over conspiracy”, Priola concluded: “We’d like Democrats in cost as a result of our planet and our democracy rely upon it.”

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