An elected official in Oregon who has been a Republican for four decades announced that she is leaving the party and becoming a Democrat because she can no longer “condone the misogyny, the racism, and the unethical and immoral behavior” of the Trump administration.
Lori Stegmann, who has served as Multnomah County commissioner since 2016, told The Oregonian in an interview that the separations of thousands of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy also prompted her to join the “big tent” Democratic party.
”I have not changed, but the Republican Party most certainly has,” said the small business owner and insurance agent who describes herself as a political moderate.
Stegmann, who is now a naturalized citizen, was born in South Korea and adopted by American parents.
She told the newspaper that Trump’s portrayal of immigrants as dangerous to the U.S. economy is “false.”
“I think people need to see we’re all immigrants,” she said.
“This decision is about who I am, what I believe in and my core values,” she said about her decision to switch parties. “And if you don’t stand for something, then you stand for nothing.”
“I prefer to stand,” she added. “And now I stand with the Democrats.”