- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri lawmaker who sided with Republicans on tax cuts is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.

State Rep. Keith English, of Florissant, said Tuesday that he’s dropping his party affiliation. He noted his support for gun rights but also his opposition to so-called “right-to-work” bills to limit union powers.

English sometimes distanced himself from Democrats, providing the pivotal vote last May as the only Democrat to join Republicans in overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut.

House Speaker John Diehl says he’s willing to work with English. But House Minority Leader Rep. Jake Hummel says Democrats distrust him.

Republicans now hold a 117-44 House majority over Democrats with one vacancy.

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