From Arkansas State Senator Jim Hendren:
I’m here to talk to you today about something that has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind for some time now. And the time has come for me to address it publicly. Like so many of you, I look around at our country today and find it hard to recognize. I see colleagues unable or unwilling to work with each other, neighbors and families divided against each other, and our statehouse too often unable to function for the people of Arkansas.
And this isn’t just because of political difference. It’s because we’ve let ourselves become deaf to other folks’ needs and perspectives. And our political parties have not only allowed this, but too often encouraged and rewarded it.
I also worry that our country is losing its civility in the public square. I hear language I wouldn’t want our children to hear. I see our fellow citizens turning each other into enemies because of differences of opinion
or party. I’ve seen our politics become a winner-take-all game that leaves too many folks losing.
And I ask myself how I can honor my oath to serve all of the people of Arkansas when we’re only listening to a louder and smaller base. Sadly, what I see is a broken system that needs to be fixed. It’s time for change and some tough decisions.
Today, I’m announcing that I am leaving the Republican Party and will continue to serve the people of Arkansas as an independent with no party affiliation.