The New Hampshire state representative who traveled to his town’s clerk’s office to change his official party affiliation from Republican to Democratic said residents in his district appear satisfied with his decision, which drew a national projector he had not expected.
State Representative William Marsh, who represents an eastern part of the Republican-controlled state, told HuffPost that “there are a handful of people who are really pissed off at me.”
“Frankly, I expected it to be an overwhelming number of people,” he said.
“But there are an incredible number of relatively moderate Republicans who were basically telling me, ‘It’s about time. “”
Marsh made the change on Tuesday as his fellow Republicans gave a press conference to criticize President Joe Biden and other Democrats for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a former doctor, Marsh felt their messages were irresponsible. The Republicans’ press conference drew people with even more extreme views, descending into chaos when protesters opposing the masking and vaccination mocked elected officials.
New Hampshire House President Sherman Packard (right) called Biden’s decision to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for federal employees a “government overrun” and said the “madness” had “caught on. control of the Biden administration, ”reported the Laconia Daily Sun, a local newspaper.
In December, Packard took over from former State House President Dick Hinch (R), who died of COVID-19 that month.
Marsh had faced the New Hampshire GOP before this week. In early June, after speaking out against a bill that would restrict the government’s ability to adopt public health measures to control the virus, the former doctor was removed from his post as deputy chair of the House committee New Hampshire representatives on health, human services, and seniors’ affairs.
“My intention was to quietly end my term and enjoy my retirement in peace,” Marsh said in a statement on his decision, adding, “Unfortunately, events have forced my hand.”
He continued, “This summer has given me time to reflect on what my beliefs really are. Politics is really a team sport. I have come to realize that a majority of Republicans, both locally and in the NH house, have values that no longer reflect traditional Republican values. And so I recognize the reality that the Republican Party today is no longer the party I first joined in my campaign for President Reagan many years ago.
Marsh has also targeted local Carroll County Republicans and Winnipesaukee Republicans, writing that both have been “taken over by extremists who see no room for moderates like me in the Republican Party.”
Lawmakers declined to tell HuffPost whether they backed Biden or President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
New Hampshire has seen a relatively small number of people die from COVID-19, with a reported total of just over 1,300 deaths. The virus, of course, does not respect state borders and is currently expanding health systems in other states to the borderline, which means the threat is just as great as ever.
Instead of making it harder for the government to implement public health measures, Marsh said he strongly believes in immunization mandates for places like hospitals and is doing everything possible to ensure that children can be educated in person.
He takes issue with what he sees as the Biden administration’s current emphasis on vaccines, saying the president talks about the injections as “a cure for the problem.” Because vaccines cannot be 100% effective, Marsh said, the administration should promote additional prevention strategies.
The New Democrat told HuffPost he still sees himself as a Tory.
“I believe in gradual change,” he said before highlighting his support for legislation that makes healthcare more accessible. Marsh helped draft New Hampshire’s 2018 bill that expands access to birth control, and he bragged about championing the expansion of Medicaid in the state.
“One of the ways I manage my life to stay sane is by not paying a lot of attention to federal affairs,” he said. “I don’t have to vote on federal stuff. I pay attention to the state of New Hampshire, because that’s where I sit in the legislature, and that’s where I do stuff.
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