Disenchanted with Democrats' far-left soft-on-crime policies, a New York City councilman announced Monday that he is switching to the Republican Party, the New York Post reported.
Bensonhurst councilman Ari Kagan, who began his first term in office in January, is abandoning the Democratic Party, which he says is responsible for New York City's crime surge.
"I believe right now, the Democratic Party is doing everything possible in New York City to make everybody less safe," he said. Kagan, in a statement Monday, specifically listed the City Council's move to bar landlords from requiring criminal background checks on potential tenants and its push to eliminate solitary confinement as examples of Democrats' failure to address public safety concerns. Democrats have a supermajority on the council.
"The Democratic Party in New York was moving to [the] left at such a speed I couldn't keep up," said Kagan. "It's not me leaving the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party very quickly started to leave me."
Crime rates in the city spiked 15.2 percent in the last year, a number that Democratic New York governor Kathy Hochul tried to dismiss as just a few "high-profile instances." New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) signed an order last week that allows police to commit potentially dangerous mentally ill people to psychiatric institutions. Liberals quickly slammed the bill, claiming it would cause "trauma."
"Every month I found myself, like, 'What am I doing in the Democratic Party?'" Kagan said. "In my own district, in southern Brooklyn, everywhere I knocked [on] the doors people [were] saying, 'When are you switching to the Republican Party?'"
Kagan is launching a general election bid against former ally and fellow councilman Justin Brannan (D.) for a newly redrawn Brooklyn district.