Arkansas Sen. Jim Hendren leaves Republican Party for possible Independent status

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — A longtime Arkansas legislator and nephew of the state’s Republican governor says he’s leaving the GOP. 

State Sen. Jim Hendren on Thursday announced the decision in a nine-minute video, citing Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol by the former president’s supporters.

Hendren’s decision closes the door on him seeking the GOP nomination for governor next year, but he says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. 

Hendren’s decision keeps him out of a primary that has been overshadowed by former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ candidacy.