Formerly Republican Iowa state Rep. Andy McKean is defecting to the Democratic party.
As reported by Iowa Starting Line, the moderate Republican has split with his party on a series of votes recently, including one on gun control and judge selection.
McKean has not yet confirmed to TPM that he has left his old party, but his name has already been stripped from the House Republican caucus’ website.
McKean has a long political record, serving in the state House from from 1979 to 1993, then state Senate from 1993 to 2003, then back to the House after winning handily in 2016.
“We gladly welcome Andy McKean to the Democratic Party,” the state Democratic party wrote in a statement. “His decision to put people over politics shows his commitment to our state. Rep. McKean has already joined Democrats in standing up for a host of issues important to Iowa’s working families and his announcement brings us one vote closer to truly representing Iowa values in the House.”
House Minority Leader Todd Prichard (D) was equally pleased.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rep. McKean to the Iowa House Democratic caucus today. Rep. McKean has a long history of bi-partisanship and understands the value of working together to get things done in the legislature,” he said in a statement. “Rep. McKean has always kept the best interests of his constituents at heart, regardless of party labels, and that remains true today. He will continue to be a strong, pragmatic voice for the people of House District 58 and we look forward to working with him.”
Iowa’s not alone on party defections. Kansas saw a rash of party switches soon after the 2018 elections, with three female lawmakers joining the Democratic Party in the aftermath of the blue wave.