Despite campaigning for months to be the Republican nominee for a state Senate seat, New York GOP candidate Joel Giambra decided to drop out of the race and leave the party altogether in the wake of the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.

Republican Erie County Executive Joel Giambra had the Erie County GOP’s endorsement, yet a mass shooting committed by a Trump-supporting right-wing terrorist that left six people dead and 24 wounded has caused him to not only rethink his campaign but also his party allegiance as well.

“I can no longer remain a Republican or continue with my campaign to seek the Republican nomination for Senator in the 61st District,” Giambra said in an email according to a report by WGRZ.

Giambra cited the mass shooting and his party’s refusal to do anything meaningful to reduce gun violence. He also cited the GOP’s attacks on women’s rights and the LGBTQ community as reasons for his decision to leave the Republican Party.

“I cannot stand with party leaders who double down in their support of the NRA after yet another mass shooting; who applaud the decision to take away a woman’s right to choose and who encourage the elimination of LGBQ rights; and who still believe that Donald Trump is their president,” he wrote.

Giambra is not the first Republican to leave the party in recent years. Many Americans have chosen to change their party affiliation because they are disgusted with the GOP’s Trump sycophancy and their repeated attacks on individual liberty and democracy. Mass shootings have caused an uproar across the country and so has the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v Wade, which allows many red states to ban abortion.

It’s becoming harder to justify being a member of a party that has embraced far-right extremism. The GOP no longer represents the average American, nor does it represent American values. It now represents authoritarianism, theocracy, hate, greed, terrorism, and death. Giambra made the right choice by leaving this monstrous organization. More Republicans should do the same as Giambra if they really care about this country and its future.

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