The State Senator considered the leading Republican candidate for Attorney General has announced he is leaving the party because it has moved too far to the right. Senator Chris Koster (D-Harrisonville) had been the Chairman of the Republican Caucus in the Senate. He resigned that position yesterday.
Koster says the effort by Republicans to criminalize stem cell research, Republican attacks on the state’s non-partisan system of picking high-level judges, and the failure of the Republican-led Legislature to pass an economic development bill two years in a row are behind his decision.
He says he has moved too far into the “moderate” column to be considered a Republican and feels he is as much a hindrance to the party as the party is to him.
Koster becomes the fourteenth Democrat in the State Senate. Republicans have nineteen seats. One seat was vacated earlier this summer with the resignation of Republican Chuck Gross of St. Charles. A special election will be held to fill that seat.