Speed Reads

'i'm done with this'

GOP lawmaker in New Hampshire becomes a Democrat, saying anti-mask 'extremists' pushed him out

New Hampshire state Rep. William Marsh, once a Republican, is now a Democrat, saying he switched parties because so many GOP lawmakers are anti-mask and against the coronavirus vaccine.

Marsh told The Washington Post he is a moderate, and people like him are being pushed out of the Republican Party by its more extreme members. He reached his limit this week when New Hampshire House Republicans hosted a rally on Tuesday opposing President Biden's vaccine mandates for workers in the federal and private sectors. "Politics, I'm afraid, is a team sport," he said. "You've got to work with other people, and if nobody's interested in what you have to say, you might as well go home."

In New Hampshire, the number of new coronavirus cases is on the rise, with infections up 16 percent from last week and deaths up 36 percent, the Post reports. Marsh is an ophthalmologist, and he told the Post it's "not in the interest of the public to allow COVID to spread in New Hampshire as it has in Florida. I'm a doctor first, so I stood up for my patients and said, 'I'm done with this.' And I left."

In a statement, New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard (R) said Marsh didn't understand that Tuesday's rally was about "unconstitutional mandates and executive orders." Marsh disagreed, arguing that he did understand and there is precedent supporting the constitutionality of mandates, and he won't "stand idly by while extremists reject the reasonable precautions of vaccinations and masks."