Jim Hendren, a Republican state senator from Arkansas—and nephew of the state’s GOP governor, Asa Hutchinson—says he’ll be leaving the party over its growing fealty to former President Trump, especially in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol. “I watched the former president actively fan the flame of racist rhetoric, make fun of those with disabilities, bully his enemies, and talk about women in ways that would never be tolerated in my home or business,” Hendren said in a YouTube video announcing his decision. “It saddens me, and it’s certainly a warning sign to us that there’s many out there who’d like to see a more civil dialogue,” Hutchinson said Sunday on CNN. “I have tremendous respect for what he announced there.” Hendren, who was first elected to the Arkansas chamber in 2013 and was Senate majority leader from 2015 to 2019, plans to remain in the legislature as an independent.
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