Another Kansas lawmaker switches parties, says she's not 'welcome' in GOP

Kansas Capitol
Posted at 11:43 AM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 12:43:32-05

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Another Kansas lawmaker is switching from the Republican to the Democratic party.

Outgoing Rep. Joy Koesten, of Leawood, announced Thursday that she's changing her party affiliation. Koesten wrote that she "just can't stomach trying to 'fit in' any more to a party that grieves me so each and every day." Her announcement follows state Sen. Barbara Bollier's decision to switch after she endorsed Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly and was stripped of a committee leadership post.

Koesten was elected in 2016 in a moderate wave, but lost her District 28 seat in the primary to conservative challenger Kellie Warren. Warren will assume office next month after beating Democrat Brian Clausen in the general election.

Koesten wrote in her final newsletter as a state representative that she wasn't "welcome" in the GOP.