Sen. Kevin Priola joins Democratic Party

Colorado Sen. Kevin Priola announced that he was leaving the Republican Party and would register as a Democrat on Aug. 22. Priola belonged to the Republican Party since 1990.

Priola was elected to District 25 on Nov. 8, 2016, as a Republican. He previously represented District 56 in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, Priola represented House District 30, but later represented District 56 because of redistricting changes.

Priola announced his party change on Aug. 22 via statement. Of his decision to change his party affiliation, he said, “I cannot continue to be a part of a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen…To be clear, I will not be changing the way I vote on legislation. I just simply will now cast my votes with a D next to my name instead of an R.” 

As of August 2022, Ballotpedia staff have counted 157 state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. Of the 157, 42 state senators and 115 state representatives have switched parties. Twenty-two state senators have switched from Democratic to Republican, while seven have switched from Republican to Democratic. Of the 115 state representatives, 54 have switched from Democratic to Republican, while 15 have switched from Republican to Democratic.

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