JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri state Rep. Keith English of Florissant is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.
English on Tuesday announced the move, citing support for gun rights and right-to-work legislation.
English had distanced himself from Democrats in the past. He provided the pivotal vote last May when he was the only Democrat to join Republicans in overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an income tax cut.
English says he can better serve his district as an independent. He says informed discussions on policy matter more than whether he's conservative or liberal.
English's move further reduces the number of Democratic members of Missouri's House. There are 44 Democrats and 118 Republicans.
Rep. Linda Black of Park Hills switched to the Republican Party the day after voters re-elected her in November.