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Conservative leaves the Republican Party due to hate crime attacks by other GOP supporters in Arizona

After a few months since the hate crime incident in Arizona, conservative journalist and Republican member Rob Smith said he is now leaving the Republican Party. He now identifies himself as “politically homeless.” Smith’s decision to leave the party comes at a very sensitive time amid significant division in the Republican Party. This split is between moderate conservatives and far-right members who hold radical views on various topics and are closely aligned with Donald Trump, the presumptive presidential candidate for the party.

Ken Buck resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives

Ken Buck, a Republican Representative from Colorado, quit his job in the House of Representatives. His last day of work was Friday. On Sunday, Buck said he felt regretful that he hadn’t done this sooner. Buck announced his resignation two weeks ago and this decision came as a huge surprise to many. Previously, he confirmed that he would not seek reelection. He had already said that he would not run for office again. After Buck made his announcement, another GOP congressman said he was leaving in April.

Wisconsin representative Mike Gallagher resigns

Mike Gallagher, a representative from Wisconsin, also announced his intention to resign on April 19, during his fourth term in Congress. Gallagher, a member of the GOP, had earlier stated that he did not intend to run for reelection in the upcoming fall. This presents a significant challenge for the GOP, as Gallagher’s seat will remain unoccupied until the general elections. When Buck and Gallagher leave, there will be 217 Republicans and 213 Democrats in the House.

The Rob Smith case

Rob Smith, a Black and gay conservative, experienced rude treatment and was insulted with racist and homophobic words at a MAGA rally last year. He’s decided to leave the Republican Party months after the incident. Smith announced his decision on his podcast, “Can’t Cancel Rob Smith,” in an episode called “I Was Betrayed—Rob Smith Speaks Out,” which he shared last Monday. In December, he posted a video on social media from an event in Phoenix. In the video, he’s faced with hostility from some people who don’t welcome gay or Black individuals in the Republican Party, using hateful language towards him. He later mentioned to CNN that he felt targeted by a hate crime.

Read also: Pro-Trump group failed to oust the top Wisconsin Republican, Robin Vos, for “working against Trump”

The December incident critical for leaving the party

The event was organized by Republicans for National Renewal, a conservative advocacy group. Smith pointed to the harassment he faced last December as a turning point in his political journey, but he mentioned he still leans to the right politically and will keep expressing his opinions on various topics.

“When the Rob Smith story is being told about this entire political evolution, let it be known that the Phoenix is very much a catalyst of my evolution completely away from the Republican Party,” he said to Newsweek, adding that he will continue to work with some Republicans on issues he believes in.

Rob Smith decided to leave the Republican Party months after the Arizona incident where he experienced hate crime attack by fellow GOP members
Rob Smith / Rob Smith – FB Official

Smith is not going to change his decision anytime soon

Speaking to Newsweek, Smith said that he still feels ‘right leaning’ but he now identifies as independent. He also rejected the possibility of re-joining the party anytime soon.

“Unfortunately, Trump’s loss in 2020 opened up the door for a very far-Right fringe in the party that has become louder and more powerful over the past few years, and it’s clear that officials and others with very large platforms do not care to speak up about this because they think these types will bring them back to power,” he said.

Lacking support

Smith expressed disappointment that not many people at the event stuck up for him. He pointed out that J.R. Majewski, a former Ohio congressional candidate, was the only one who did. After what happened, Smith felt unsafe and decided he wouldn’t go to similar events again.

Read also: Republicans sue Michigan for voter registration rolls irregularities. Again.

Smith, who had been in the Army, said that even though some Republicans say they support the military, they didn’t seem to care that he was being disrespected. He said that he decided to stay away from the MAGA movement and the Republican Party after he learned how people in the MAGA movement really see him.

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