Featured Image
Mike McDonnellKMTV 3 News Now / YouTube / Screenshot

(LifeSiteNews) — A life-long Democrat Nebraska State Senator has switched his party affiliation after the Democratic Party “punished” him for his pro-life views.

During a press conference announcing his new membership in the Republican Party, Sen. Mike McDonnell said, “I asked the Democratic Party, Douglas County, to respect that I’m pro-life, that I’m a member of the Roman Catholic Church. My beliefs are based on that.”

“Douglas County Democrats, instead of respecting it, decided to punish it,” said McDonnell. “They said you cannot participate; you can’t be a delegate, we’re not going to share party resources.”

The newly minted Republican legislator elaborated in a written statement:

In 1984 I registered as a Democrat. I was a Christian, a member of the Roman Catholic Church and Pro-Life. In 2016 I ran as a Pro-Life candidate for Legislative District 5. When I ran for re-election in 2020 I was Pro-Life. I have asked the Democratic Party to respect my religious based pro-life position. Instead over the last year they have decided to punish me for being Pro-Life. The Douglas County Democrats voted not to seat me as a delegate and not to share party resources with me because I am Pro-Life. The State Democratic Party voted to censure me because I am Pro-Life. Being a Christian, a member of the Roman Catholic Church and Pro-Life is more important to me than being a registered Democrat. Today I am changing my party affiliation to Republican.

With McDonnell jumping to the other side of the aisle in the Nebraska State House, Republicans now have enough votes to overcome a filibuster.  That one-vote margin could prove crucial as Republicans strive to pass a bill which would change Nebraska from a state which awards Electoral College votes to the winners of each of the state’s congressional districts to a “winner-take-all” state.

In 2020, Joe Biden won a single Electoral College vote in the state’s 2nd District which includes Omaha, while the state’s other 4 votes went to Donald Trump.  Republicans would like all 5 votes to go to Trump in this year’s presidential election.

The Nebraska Republican Party (NEGOP) said in a statement that it welcomed McDonnell as “our newest champion of conservative values.”

“Nebraska’s unicameral legislature now has a filibuster-proof Republican majority,” said the NEGOP.

Following McDonnell’s announcement, Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb said, “The Nebraska Democratic Party will continue to stand up for reproductive freedom and the human rights of the LGBTQ community.”

“Our decision to censure Sen. McDonnell was never about him being a pro-life Catholic,” insisted Kleeb.  “Our decision was based on our party reaffirming our core values to protect women’s ability to make health decisions and to keep politicians out of our personal health decisions.”

“Being pro-life, pro-family, pro-male and female, and pro-children should not be a political issue, but we have allowed them to become so,” said the American Life League’s Hugh R. Brown in a statement to LifeSiteNews regarding Sen. McDonnell exit from the Democratic Party. “They are matters of good versus evil. Right and wrong. It is not complicated; it’s not negotiable.

“No political party or affiliation is above our God-given moral responsibilities as Christian, Catholic people to uphold the sanctity of life, family, and the protection of children,” said Brown.