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GOP lawmaker quits party because of Trump's 'disregard for the truth'

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/23/2019 Caitlin Yilek

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An Iowa state lawmaker has said he is leaving the Republican Party because of his loathing of President Trump.

Rep. Andy McKean, 69, the longest serving Republican currently in the Iowa legislature, announced Tuesday he would register as a Democrat after being registered as a Republican for almost 50 years.

“With the 2020 presidential election looming on the horizon, I feel, as a Republican, that I need to be able to support the standard bearer of our party. Unfortunately, that is something I’m unable to do. I believe that it is just a matter of time before our country pays a heavy price for President Trump’s reckless spending and short-sighted financial policies, his erratic, destabilizing foreign policy, and his disregard for environmental concerns,” he said in a statement.

McKean blamed Trump for fueling an “unprecedented divisiveness” and said he sets a poor example by hurling insults at those who disagree with him and his “frequent disregard for the truth.”

“If this is the new normal, I want no part of it,” he said.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc. McKean has served in the legislature for decades, though he was not a member from 2002 to 2016.

“Upon returning to Des Moines after a 15 year hiatus, I found a very different place,” he said. “The legislature is considerably more partisan and regimented than it used to be. I have found that difficult to adjust to and believe it often stands in the way of good legislation. I’m also concerned by the increasing influence big money is having on the legislative process.”

“In addition, I found a very changed Republican caucus,” he continued. “I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the vast majority of high profile issues and often sympathetic with concerns raised by the minority caucus.”

The Iowa legislature’s website currently lists McKean under “no party.”

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