TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker who was stripped of a committee leadership post after endorsing Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly’s campaign has switched to the Democratic Party.
State Sen. Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills said Wednesday that the Republican Party no longer represents her values. Bollier said she had been a registered Republican for nearly 43 years.
“I’ve been a proud Kansas Republican for 43 years,” Bollier stated in a news release. “I always embraced the common-sense policies of Governor Bill Graves, US Senator Nancy Kassebaum, and President Eisenhower. But during the last eight years, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with Republican leaders’ hardline rhetoric, contempt for compromise, and obsession with putting political power before children and families. With this recent election it has become clear that the majority of the Republican Party does not accept moderate Republicans any longer.”
Her move makes the Senate’s partisan split 29-10, with one independent.
In July, Senate President Susan Wagle removed Bollier as vice chairwoman of the Senate health committee after Bollier endorsed Kelly and a Democratic congressional candidate.
But Bollier said a key moment for her came in June when the Kansas GOP adopted a platform with what she sees as an anti-transgender provision. It declares, “We believe God created two genders, male and female.”
“This is a personal, principled decision. The people of Johnson County want bipartisanship, patriotism, and a leader who fights for affordable healthcare, world-class public schools, fiscal responsibility, and pro-family policies. That has always been my agenda,” Bollier stated in the release.