North Quabbin State Rep. Leaves Republican Party

Aug 22, 2017

A Massachusetts state lawmaker representing the North Quabbin said she's leaving the Republican Party.

Susannah Whipps has served in the state House since 2015, part of the small Republican minority in the Democratic dominated legislature.

Whipps' spokesperson said she is not granting any interviews right now. But in a statement, the lawmaker said she's changing her party affiliation to un-enrolled so she can better work with other lawmakers without the "obligation of towing any particular party line."

Over the weekend, in a tweet, she criticized Republican President Donald Trump.

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That makes sense to Craig Twohey, owner of the King Phillip Restaurant in Phillipston, who has donated to Whipps' campaign fund in the past. 

"I have a feeling that if we had more unenrolled representatives and senators in the country -- including down in Washington -- we'd get a lot more done," Twohey said.

Ed Berry, another Whipps supporter and an engineer in Orange, said the representative's move away from the GOP should help her politically, by shedding "that stigma that sits with the [party], especially in Massachusetts, where it's a predominantly Democratic state."

Former Orange resident Ed Dornig, who has contributed to Whipps' campaign, said the announcement surprised him.

"But if that's what her mission is and if that's a successful direction, I'd go along with it," said Dornig, who now lives in Medfield. "Because, in the current climate of politics, you're either this one or that one -- and everything in-between you're an enemy."

A spokesperson for House Republican leader Brad Jones said Whipps gave Jones a heads-up about her decision last week. He had no additional comment.