The Right Wing

Another Republican Abandons the GOP: Ex-Nevada Lt. Gov Sue Wagner Cites Party Extremism

She follows on the heels of conservative gay activist Jimmy LaSalvia.

Call it Right Flight: In what is starting to look like a trend, the Republican Party has pushed yet another member to the breaking point by pulling so hard to the right. According to Talking Points Memo, Former Nevada Lt. Governor Sue Wagner announced earlier this week that she has left the Republican Party, citing irreconcilable changes to the party’s mission statement and general ethos.

“It’s grown so conservative and tea-party oriented, and I just can’t buy into that,” Wagner told the Reno Gazette Journal. “I’ve left the Republican Party, and it’s left me at the same time.”

Wagner served as the first female lieutenant governor in Nevada state history from 1991-1995, and became an early agent for party change when she publically supported abortion rights during her tenure. In 2010, Wagner’s found herself at odds with the party when she refused to endorse Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angles due to her “extreme” views on abortion. Now, Wagner says, the party has taken a turn that has all but made her moderate ideology obsolete.

“I did it as a symbol, I guess, that I do not like the Republican Party and what they stand for today,” Wagner said. “I’ve been a Republican all my life. My dad was active [in the GOP] in the state of Maine where I was born. It was more of a moderate, liberal Republican Party.”

Wagner’s exit comes a mere week after longtime Republican Jimmy LaSalvia announced a public departure from the party as well, citing the Republican Party as preaching a “culture of intolerance” that would prevent it from ever winning another election again. LaSalvia, who was a major activist for gay rights, found himself similarly at  ideological odds with the party over issues like same-sex marriage. Considering that the first month of the year isn’t even over yet, and we’re already seeing two very public renunciations of the GOP, wonder who's next.. 

Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Environment
Food
Media
World