The quiet GOP exit of former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe

In September 2018, Kolbe made the decision to quietly change his Pima County voter registration from Republican to independent./YouTube

By Katie Surma | Arizona Republic 

Over the past few decades, former Rep. Jim Kolbe watched the Republican Party shift from the party of Reagan to the party of Trump.

Kolbe, a moderate Arizona Republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1985 to 2007, looked on with disappointment as the GOP began to coalesce around President Donald Trump’s defiant and norm-busting style. 

In September 2018, Kolbe made the decision to quietly change his Pima County voter registration from Republican to independent.

Despite quitting the Republican Party, Kolbe describes himself as a traditional conservative who still has the same beliefs he has always had.

“People are making a bigger deal about (the voter registration change) than I have,” Kolbe told The Arizona Republic. “I’ve always been fairly independent in my thinking. It doesn’t change my values.”

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