The Missouri House Democratic Caucus has lost another member. Representative Keith English of Florissant announced today he is switching to an Independent.
The move puts the House at 117 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and English, the lone Independent.
English was first elected to the House as a Democrat in 2012, but has often split with his party on abortion and gun rights. Last year he cast the deciding vote to overturn Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut bill that was strongly opposed by Democrats. His was the lone Democrat vote cast in favor of the override in either chamber.
In a statement, English writes, “This is no longer the Democrat Party of Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy. I’m leaving the party because I love my state. It shouldn’t matter whether I’m conservative or liberal. What is most important is that we raise the level of debate in this country through informed discussions that lead to policies that benefit all Missourians.”
English is the second lawmaker to leave the House Democratic Caucus since the November General Election. The day after that election, Representative Linda Black (Desloge) announced she was switching from the Democrat to the Republican Party.