3rd and 4th Kansas lawmakers switch to Democratic Party

Published: Dec. 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM CST
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Two more Republican state lawmakers are crossing the aisle to become the third and fourth lawmakers to switch parties this week.

State Rep. Stephanie Clayton, of Overland Park, and State Sen. Dinah Sykes, of Lenexa, both said Wednesday that they intended to become Democrats.

Sykes said she could either fight to change the GOP or fight for her constituents. She won her seat in 2016.

Clayton has been an outspoken GOP moderate who was first elected to the House in 2010. Clayton has been a strong advocate of government transparency measures and an organizer of a bipartisan Women's Caucus.

"While I am disappointed that Senator Sykes will be joining the party of higher taxes and big government, she believes this move will allow her to better represent her district," Senate President Susan Wagle said about the switches.

The GOP's majorities slip to 84-41 in the House and 28-11 in the Senate, with one independent there.

Last week, state Sen. Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills and departing Rep. Joy Koesten of Leawood also switched to the Democratic Party.

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