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West Virginia governor joins GOP

by Evan Wilt
Posted 8/04/17, 12:41 pm

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday he could no longer serve his state as a Democrat and plans to register as a Republican. The 66-year-old former businessman made the announcement in front of 9,000 supporters of President Donald Trump at a rally in Huntington, W.Va. Justice’s party switch is his second in as many years: The former Republican became a Democrat in 2015 when he decided to run for governor. He won last November with just 49 percent of the vote. Trump outpaced Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 40 points on the same ballot. In May 2016, 77 percent of West Virginia’s Republican primary voters chose Trump. The governor, who has met with Trump twice at the White House to discuss manufacturing and coal proposals, said he shares a lot in common with the president. Both men have net worths exceeding $1 billion and are serving their first term in elected office. “This man is a good man. He’s got a backbone. He’s got real ideas,” Justice said standing next to Trump at the rally. “He cares about America. He cares about us in West Virginia.” Justice’s decision leaves Democrats in only 15 of 50 governors mansions. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and state Treasurer John Perdue are the last remaining West Virginia Democrats elected statewide. Manchin is up for reelection in 2018.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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  • Laneygirl's picture
    Posted: Sun, 08/06/2017 12:12 pm

    Just as Susan Collins of Maine is a democrat at heart, Joe Manchin has a Republican's sensibilities. Perhaps he will reconsider his party affiliation prior to his reelection bid?

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Sun, 08/06/2017 01:21 pm

    Thus, we see another double-minded man, blown about like a wave of the sea.