Colorado Senator Kevin Priola announced he is leaving the Republican Party due to the GOP’s complicity in the January 6 insurrection, their continued attempts to spread election fraud conspiracies, and their refusal to act on climate change. Priola, who has been in the legislature since 2009, formerly served in Republican leadership as House minority whip, but is leaving the GOP as it turns into a MAGA cult obsessed with overturning a fair and free election. This move is a setback for the GOP efforts to flip the Colorado Senate, putting them one more seat away from the majority. In his statement, Priola wrote: “I cannot continue to be a part of a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen.”
“The GOP’s right-wing views and its shameful attempts to destroy our democracy are so extreme that even its own members are fleeing the party,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “Colorado Senator Kevin Priola’s party switch is further evidence that the only way to preserve our democracy against GOP extremism is to elect Democrats to state legislatures this fall. Republicans are targeting the Colorado Senate this year, and this move just made the GOP’s efforts more difficult. We welcome any lawmakers who want to fight on the side of democracy.”
One of the DLCC’s main priorities this cycle is to defend our majorities in the Colorado House and Senate. Democrats have been focused on tangible ways to improve the lives of Coloradans across the state. Democrats have helped move the state forward by implementing universal and high-quality pre-K and free all-day kindergarten, investing more than $100 million in child care capacity and affordability, making health care more affordable, and reducing emissions to protect the environment. Earlier this year, Colorado Democrats overcame a nearly day-long filibuster by Republicans and protected the right to an abortion in the state. Meanwhile, Colorado Republicans remain hell-bent on pleasing Trump, trying to outlaw abortion, and distracting from their lack of solutions by pushing divisive issues.