Iowa state lawmaker leaves GOP, citing Trump's 'poor example' to the nation

Iowa state lawmaker leaves GOP, citing Trump's 'poor example' to the nation
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An Iowa state lawmaker who was a member of the GOP for more than 40 years has decided to leave the party and plans to vote with the state’s Democrats.

State Rep. Andy McKean is now listed as “no party” on the state legislature's website and left his committee assignments that he was on as part of the Republican Party, according to the Des Moines Register.

He said in a press conference Tuesday that he was "increasingly uncomfortable" with his party's position on many issues.

“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,” McKean said, according to the Iowa Starting Line.

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He also added that the approaching presidential election was a factor in his decision.

“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,” McKean said, referencing President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE without naming him directly.

“He sets, in my opinion, a poor example for the nation and particularly for our children by personally insulting, often in a crude and juvenile fashion, those who disagree with him, being a bully at a time when we’re attempting to discourage bullying, his frequent disregard for the truth, and his willingness to ridicule or marginalize people for their appearances, ethnicity, or disability,” McKean said.

Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard (D) confirmed to the local news outlet that McKean will now caucus with the Democratic Party.

“We’re happy to have him,” Prichard said. “I think he’ll be a good addition to the caucus.”

Republicans in Iowa currently control both chambers in the legislature.

McKean was first elected to the Iowa legislature in 1978 and served several terms as a representative before becoming a state senator from 1993 to 2003. He rejoined the House in 2006 after a hiatus by winning what was considered at the time a swing district in eastern Iowa.

McKean won his seat in both 2016 and 2018 by large margins. It is not immediately clear if he plans to register as a Democrat or run for reelection as a Democrat in 2020.