West Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Jim Justice dealt “another blow” to his party by announcing his switch to the GOP, creating a “sea of red” across the nation.
At a rally Thursday evening with President Trump, the Democratic governor told the cheering West Virginia crowd he could no longer help his state as a Democrat.
Boom?? West Virginia’s democrat governor Jim Justice goes rogue on his party! Announces live he is switching teams! pic.twitter.com/7rCRdm1A6A
— USA Association (@USAAssociation) August 4, 2017
“I will tell you with lots of prayers and lots of thinking, today I will tell you as West Virginians that I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor,” he said. “So tomorrow I will be changing my registration to Republican.”
WV Gov Jim Justice is expected to change parties, become Republican tonight @realDonaldTrump rally!
34 GOP govs, most in 80yrs!#MAGA ??
— Harlan Z. Hill (@Harlan) August 3, 2017
Justice added that his parents, who were “staunch Republicans,” were probably in Heaven saying, “Jimmy, it’s about damn time you came to your senses.”
Republicans just picked up another Governor Mansion without even having to win an election ?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 3, 2017
The crowd went wild at his announcement, which essentially leaves Democrats in full control in just 6 states.
Yes, we could always use another Republican governor–welcome aboard! https://t.co/OvcOVZHZwF
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 3, 2017
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, like many other smart people, has realized that the Democrat Party is Dead
— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) August 4, 2017
The switch gives the GOP full control of the legislative and executive branch in 26 states. Republican-controlled states have a total population of 164,139,104 while Democratic-controlled states have 50,190,213, according to Americans for Tax Reform.
Justice, who ran as a conservative Democrat and did not endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, declared that “Democrats walked away from me” at the rally. The state, which the president carried with a nearly 68 percent lead in the election, has continued to be a Trump stronghold.
Tonight, the Governor of West Virginia switched to Republican.
— ??Ryan ?? (@RyanJensen2018) August 4, 2017
“Having Big Jim as a Republican is such an honor,”Trump said, welcoming the governor’s announcement. “Fantastic man, fantastic guy.”
“Governor Justice’s party switch is another blow to a Democratic Party that would rather obstruct than work to make our country great again,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a statement following the announcement. “Across America, voters have put their faith in the Republican Party because we are the Party fighting to give every individual the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
“Democrats now hold a record-low number of governorships — and Republicans hold a record high.” https://t.co/Ne54JZHaEj
— Abby Huntsman (@HuntsmanAbby) August 4, 2017
“With only 15 governorships and control of the fewest state legislatures in history, Governor Justice’s announcement is just the latest rejection of a party that is leaderless from top to bottom and unable to find a positive, unifying message,” the statement continued. “While Democrats continue to put politics before the American people, Republicans are working with President Trump to lead America towards a future with fewer burdensome regulations, greater economic stability, and stronger national security. Governor Justice, welcome back to the Republican Party.”
— Janice Blanton (@realJaniceBlant) August 3, 2017
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