A longtime Nevada elected official has left the Republican Party over its increasingly extreme positions.
Sue Wagner, 73, who has served as a Reno assemblywoman, state senator, lieutenant governor and gaming commissioner registered as a nonpartisan voter last week.
“I did it as a symbol, I guess, that I do not like the Republican Party and what they stand for today,” Wagner told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “I’ve been a Republican all my life. My dad was active (in the GOP) in the state of Maine where I was born. It was more of a moderate, liberal Republican Party.”
“It’s grown so conservative and Tea Party-orientated, and I just can’t buy into that,” Wagner continued. “I’ve left the Republican Party and it’s left me, at the same time.”
Wagner was the first woman in Nevada history elected as lieutenant governor and served from 1991 to 1995.
She had been mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate but left elected office following her first term as lieutenant governor due to injuries suffered in a 1990 plane crash while campaigning.
A poll released last month shows just 30 percent of Americans view the Tea Party favorably, while a 51 percent majority held an unfavorable view of the arch-conservative faction.
Another poll released earlier this month found that only 25 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest number in a generation.
[Image: Tea party carnival via Shutterstock]