As Election Day Approaches, More Republicans are Breaking Ranks

In Kansas, Idaho, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, longtime GOP officeholders and business leaders are putting country over party.

Micah Sifry


Reps Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney aren’t the only ones speaking up

What do these life-long Republicans all have in common?

Former governors of Kansas Bill Graves and Mike Hayden. Idaho’s former Gov. Phil Batt, former Attorney General and Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones and former Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.

Former Pennsylvania Congresswoman and state Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman Greenwood of Pennsylvania. Michigan business leader Bill Parfet, chairman and CEO of commercial real estate company Northwood Group.

Kathy McDonald, vice chair of the Clark County Republican Party in Washington State. Julie Olson, a two-term Republican member of the Clark County Council.

They are just a few examples of Republicans who are prominent in their states or counties who are breaking ranks with the MAGA faction that has taken over their party and publicly endorsing Democrats running for office.

It’s interesting to look at how they are couching these announcements. Not all of them are directly confronting the conspiracy-thinking or rancid populism now prevalent among Trumpists. But crossing party lines is so rare, it’s notable nonetheless.

For example, former Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden says he’s supporting Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly because the state’s affairs were in “good shape” right now and “I credit the bipartisan approach of Governor Kelly.” Not mentioned but in the background are the rabid rightwing positions of Kelly’s GOP challenger Derek Schmidt, a vocal Trump supporter who opposes the expansion of LGBTQ rights and gay marriage, and who as state attorney general signed onto a flimsy last-ditch lawsuit led by Texas to overturn the 2020 election results.

In Michigan, Bill Parfet explained his endorsement of Governor Gretchen Whitmer this way. “No more fighting. Among those running for election in November, there exists a group of individuals — some Democrats, some Republicans — that are willing to work together to find a common middle-ground where progress can be made…