- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A state senator in Kansas is switching parties to the Democrats, saying the Republican Party no longer represents her values on matters such as President Trump and transgenderism.

Sen. Barbara Bollier, who represents a suburban Kansas City district, made the switch official Wednesday, according to the Shawnee Mission Post.

“Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K-12 schools.”

While Ms. Bollier had been publicly not-toeing the party line on a number of matters, such as publicly endorsing Democrat Laura Kelly for governor, she said the last straw for her was a state party resolution saying “We believe God created two genders, male and female,” which she called an attack on transgender persons.

“That was my final, last straw. I support the people of Kansas. I do not condemn whoever they are,” she said this week.

That resolution passed in February. Since her endorsement of Ms. Kelly, who won the race, she had been stripped of her seat on the state Senate’s Public Health and Welfare Committee.

“Once I was removed from my committees, it no longer made sense for me to try to represent my constituents as a Republican,” she said.

In her announcement Wednesday, Ms. Bollier also cited Mr. Trump, saying she “cannot be complicit in supporting” his presidency.

“I can’t call it leadership. I don’t even know what to call him. He is our president, but he is not representing my value system remotely,” she said.

Her defection does not come close to changing the state Senate’s balance of power, where Republicans will still hold a 30-10 advantage.

Local Republicans generally wished Ms. Bollier good riddance and said they plan a strong effort to toss her out when her she runs for re-election as a Democrat in 2020.

“The JCRP was not shocked by today’s news,” said Johnson County Republican Party Chair Dave Myres. “After her recent endorsements of Democrats in both the primary and general elections, as well as a voting record more liberal than many Democrats, we applaud her for her honesty.”

He added: “We look forward to an exciting election ahead in 2020 as Republicans have true representation on the ballot in Senate District 7.”

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