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Utah State Senator Mark Madsen Switches Parties, Backs Libertarian Presidential Candidate

Whittney Evans
Utah State Senator Mark Madsen announces he has left the Republican Party.

Utah State Senator Mark Madsen is no longer a member of the Republican Party. Madsen announced during a press conference Monday, he has joined the Libertarian Party and endorsed Libertarian Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson.

Madsen says in a political climate where both Republicans and Democrats are divided, there is a historic opportunity to foster a strong Libertarian Party.

“The choices that these two parties have made now for generations have led to consequences where you have really, frankly, two of the least impressive candidates that history has ever brought forth,” Madsen says.

Madsen is retiring from politics this year and plans to move his family to South America. So, he says the decision to switch party affiliations is largely symbolic. But he hopes to encourage others to ditch the GOP.

Madsen has been a Republican member of the Utah State Senate for 12 years.  He championed issues like the legalization of medical marijuana and private property rights. But he says he got used to losing out on issues like medical marijuana, which he says were stamped out by the Republican establishment. 

“The policies in this state are not welcoming to an individual like myself, who wants to own their own life, own their choices and own their consequences,” Madsen says.

Madsen says the Libertarian Party reflects those values. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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