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Iowa State Senator Drops Republican Party Over Trump Comments

Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on June 2, 2016. JOSH EDELSON AFP/Getty Images

An Iowa State senator has dropped his affiliation as a Republican in light of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments about a federal court judge’s ethnicity.

Sen. David Johnson, from staunchly Republican northwest Iowa, said Tuesday that “somebody had to make a statement,” about what the 18-year state legislator called Trump’s “bigotry.”

Johnson is referring to the billionaire’s allegation that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel was biased in his decision against the now-defunct Trump University because he disagrees with Trump’s position on immigration. Gonzalo’s is of Mexican descent but was born in Indiana.

Johnson, 65, says he is unsure whether he will caucus with Republicans in the Iowa Senate in the 2017 legislative session. Johnson supported former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Iowa caucus campaign, and then former tech CEO Carly Fiorina after Perry quit the race last year.