Defeated Kan. Legislator Switches Parties

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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An outgoing state senator from Kansas City is quitting the Democratic Party.

Sen. Mark Gilstrap said Thursday that he is becoming a Republican because the Democratic Party has developed a "radical liberal tilt and intolerance of dissent." The move came four months after Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and a legislative leader helped engineer his defeat in this year's Democratic primary.

Gilstrap broke with Sebelius over issues such as energy and abortion before the election.

He already had upset some fellow Democrats in 2006 by endorsing Republican Attorney General Phill Kline's unsuccessful bid for re-election.

Both Kline and Gilstrap are abortion opponents.

Gilstrap's four-year term expires Jan. 12.

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