HUNTINGTON, WV — On Thursday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced, at a maximum capacity-filled Trump rally, that he is switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
“Today, I will tell you as West Virginians, I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor,” Justice expressed. “So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican.”
“Like it or don’t like it, the democrats walked away from me.”
Justice and President Trump have been friends for years, prior to their political endeavors. Rumors of the announcement broke Thursday afternoon, and spread rapidly among members of the press at Huntington’s Make America Great Again rally.
This switch comes as a shock to many republicans, especially considering that the Governor attempted to highly pressure Republicans to drastically raise taxes. Any political observer would describe Justice’s administration as being anything but “conservative.” Republicans and conservative lawmakers expressed that they hope his political ideology also switches, along with his party affiliation.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of people switching to Republican,” Speaker of the House Tim Armstead (R) told Cowger Nation. “West Virginia is a very conservative state. We want conservative values, economic ideas that actually create jobs. I hope that is a sign he saw that is where the people of West Virginia want him to be.”
“I’m looking forward. I hope he will embrace the conservative values we’ve been fighting for (hasn’t happened too much so far in his administration), but I hope this is a sign he does want to do that. And we’re certainly willing and ready to go to work with him to advance those conservative values, put people back to work, if that’s where he wants to go.”
Insiders in the West Virginia Republican Party expressed to Cowger Nation that they believe his chances of winning a Republican Primary are little to none after his tax increase proposals. Some expect that he will not run for a second term.
WV MetroNews confirmed that staff members were unaware of Justice’s planned switch, until the announcement on Thursday.
Confirmed: Justice top staffers did not know switch was coming.
— Hoppy Kercheval (@HoppyKercheval) August 3, 2017
Nevertheless, this announcement has shaken West Virginia and the nation.