Two more Kansas state lawmakers say they're leaving GOP

A pair of GOP state lawmakers in Kansas said Wednesday that they will soon switch their party affiliation and register as Democrats.

Sen. Dinah Sykes and Rep. Stephanie Clayton announced their decisions in separate Facebook posts.


Clayton, a lifelong Republican who has served in the Kansas Legislature for the 19th District since 2013, said she will be a Democrat when the House reconvenes next month.

“I first ran for office in 2010, when my daughter was in first grade, because of the lack of stable funding for public education. Leaders 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, just as we are so close to solving this problem and ending the cycle of school litigation. My Republican Party, then, seems to no longer represent or serve the interests of the 19th District, Johnson County, or the State of Kansas," she wrote.

Sykes, who was elected to the state Senate in 2016, said in a statement that "she ran for the Kansas Senate to protect the Kansas quality of life and to bring common sense to Topeka.

"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," she wrote. "I think I can better serve my state and constituents as a member of the Democratic party."

Their announcements came about a week after State Sen. Barbara Bollier, who represents Mission Hills in the Kansas City metropolitan area, said she'll be leaving the GOP to become a Democrat.

“Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides,” Bollier said.

Outgoing state Rep. Joy Koesten (R) also announced that she was switching her party affiliation to become a Democrat, according to The Associated Press.