Iowa state Rep. Andy McKean announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the Republican Party and becoming a Democrat due to his misgivings over President Donald Trump.
McKean said at a press conference that took place in Des Moines, “With the presidential election looming on the horizon in 2020, I feel, as a Republican, that I should be able to support the standard bearer of our party. Unfortunately, that is something I am not able to do”.
McKean was first elected to the Iowa Legislature 40 years ago. He described Trump as a bully who creates a breeding ground for hateful actions and rhetoric. He criticized Iowa’s GOP as having grown too conservative.
“The party has veered very sharply to the right, and that is something that concerns me” McKean added.
Though Republicans will still control a majority of 53 seats in the 100-member House, it is down from a 59-seat majority at the end of the Legislature’s last session.
“We welcome Andy McKean to the Democratic Party gladly, and his decision to put people over politics shows his commitment to our state” the state party said in a statement.
The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, Jeff Kaufmann, cast McKean’s move as a betrayal of the voters.