GOP State Senator in Colorado Switches Sides: ‘We Need Democrats in Charge’
Kevin Priola left the Republican Party to join his chamber’s Democratic caucus this week, condemning his GOP colleagues who continue to defend former President Donald Trump’s attempts to sow doubt about the 2020 election.
A Colorado state senator left the Republican Party to join his chamber’s Democratic caucus this week, condemning his GOP colleagues who continue to defend former President Donald Trump’s attempts to sow doubt about the 2020 election.
State Sen. Kevin Priola has been a registered Republican for more than 30 years and a moderate GOP member of the Colorado legislature since 2009. But now he’s switching sides of the aisle. Priola wrote a two-page letter saying he cannot be affiliated with lawmakers who are "okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election."
In the letter, Priola also writes that there is "too much at stake right now for Republicans to be in charge … Simply put, we need Democrats in charge."
In addition to what he sees as his ex-party’s inability to disavow Trump’s Big Lie, Priola also blasted Colorado Republicans over their efforts to block meaningful action on the climate crisis — in spite of a marked increase in wildfires and droughts that their own state is currently experiencing. "Coloradans cannot afford for their leaders to give credence to election conspiracies and climate denialism," Priola wrote, adding, "Our planet and our democracy depend on it."
Priola’s decision to switch parties adds to the Democrat’s CO Senate majority and creates a tougher path for the state GOP to flip control of the chamber in the November midterm elections.
However, while Priola will be caucusing with the Democrats going forward, his letter also states that he will not be changing his conservative positions on certain issues such as gun rights and abortion access.