Democrats gain in statehouses as some GOP lawmakers defect

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Democrats continue to add to the gains they made in state legislatures during November’s election thanks to defections from Republican lawmakers.

Since then, a handful of Republicans in California, Kansas and New Jersey have switched their party affiliations to become Democrats.

They cited various reasons, but the party-switchers have one thing in common: They say the GOP under President Donald Trump has become too extreme.

One of the switchers, Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier, says: “The Republican Party, for all of its statements of having a big tent, continues to limit the tent.” She adds: “Those of us who were moderates are clearly not welcome.”

The latest party-flip came this week in New Jersey, when state Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego left the GOP.

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