Richard Painter, a former ethics chief during former President George W. Bush’s administration, officially announced he is changing parties and running for a Minnesota Senate seat as a Democrat.
Painter, a frequent presence on cable news who has become one of President Trump’s most vociferous critics, said the Republican party had essentially left him behind.
“I tried to salvage the situation with the Republican Party for a long time,” he said at a press conference announcing his candidacy. “We’ve had for decades a departure from the fundamental values of the Republican Party and from America.”
The 56-year-old will be challenging Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) who was appointed to fill former Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) seat after he resigned under the cloud of sexual harassment allegations.
Painter called for people to “stand firm against what President Trump is threatening to do to our country.”
“Republicans insist that if you’re going to run for political office, you have to be loyal to President Trump,” Painter said. “This is wrong. This is not the America I want to live in. This is not the America I want my children to live in.”
Former GOP White House lawyer Richard Painter announces Minnesota Senate run as a Democrat.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 30, 2018