Colorado Republican becomes a Democrat, citing Jan. 6, climate change

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sen. Kevin Priola, Colorado State, was a Republican for 32 years. On Monday, he announced that he could no longer be.

So he defected to the Democrats.

There is now “too much at stake for Republicans to be in charge,” Priola wrote in a two page letter Explaining his decision, he added, “Simply put, we need Democrats in charge.”

Priola cited two reasons for the switch: many Republicans peddling false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen and the party’s efforts to block legislation that would fight climate change.

Priola has served in the Colorado Capitol since 2009, first as a Representative and as of 2017 as a Senator. He won a second term in the state Senate in 2020 and will run for re-election in 2024. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post late Monday.

The change in Priola’s party registration will not affect the balance of power in the Colorado Senate; Democrats already controlled the chamber but now have an even larger majority of 21-14, as Republicans prepare to try to take control in November, the Colorado Sun reported.

Overall, Republicans are in the midst of an internal battle between two factions vying for control of the party: candidates loyal to former President Donald Trump who are willing to fake election claims and rivals who push the party beyond all that. want to bring, The Post has reported.

Final piece of primaries shows a divided GOP

Priola decided to leave the GOP altogether. In the letter he posted Monday morning, Priola said he became a Republican in 1990, charmed by Ronald Reagan’s willingness to stand up to the Soviet Union and cooperate with Democrats on immigration.

“I haven’t changed much in 30 years; but my party does,” he wrote.

Priola said he watched in horror as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. He thought the uprising would lead his fellow Republicans to distance themselves from Trump, he wrote.

Instead, Republicans turned against a handful of their own — including Vice President Mike Pence, who confirmed Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, and Representatives Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), who after the riots voted to impeach Trump. .

“I cannot remain part of a political party that approves of a violent attempt to overthrow free and fair elections and claims that the 2020 elections have been stolen,” Priola wrote.

He then moved on to the second way the GOP had disappointed him: its inaction on climate change. Republicans have repeatedly denied that humans are causing climate change and continue to block legislative efforts to combat it, even as Coloradans endure “almost year-round” wildfires and “a seemingly never-ending drought,” Priola wrote.

“I believe it is immoral to saddle the next generation of Coloradans with even worse consequences,” he added.

The surprising political shifts that led to the passage of the Climate Act

Colorado politicians on both sides of the aisle reacted to Priola switching sides.

Gov. Jared Polis (D) called the senator “a strong leader on climate issues,” and Senate President Steve Fenberg (D) praised Priola as someone who “chose his voters and the future of Colorado over partisan politics.”

Senate Leader John Cooke (R) told the Colorado Sun that given Priola’s recent voting record, he was not shocked by his defection. He also dismissed its impact on the Republicans’ attempt to seize control of the state senate in November.

“This event will not change the course of this election cycle, nor the outcome of this year’s battle for the state Senate,” Cooke told the paper, adding that Priola voters can “examine their options for new representation.” .”

Kristi Burton Brown, chairman of the Colorado GOP, also cited Priola’s track record of voting with Democrats on some issues, accusing him of “lying” to voters about being a Republican.

“Clearly Priola has selfishly chosen to make the story his own at the expense of the Coloradans he was chosen to fight for,” she wrote in a statement. “He will regret this decision if he is outnumbered in January 2023.”

Priola doesn’t think so and says he remains committed to serving and fighting for his constituents rather than participating in tribal politics.

“Coloradans cannot afford their leaders to believe in election conspiracies and climate denial,” he wrote, adding, “Our planet and our democracy depend on it.”


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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