During a recent Trump rally in West Virginia, Democratic Governor Jim Justice made the shocking announcement that he would be switching to the Republican party because he can’t do anything else as a Democrat:
“Today, I tell you as West Virginians, I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor. So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican.”
Trump alluded to a surprise earlier that morning when he mentioned there would be a “big announcement” at the Huntington, West Virginia rally. During the rally itself, Trump edified Justice for “show[ing] the country our agenda rises above left or right.”
The announcement was such a surprise that the GOP of West Virginia sent out a timed tweet which attacked Justice for his “low-energy.” The New York Times was first to report on the event that left many Democrats and Republicans angered. However, ABC News released a statement given to them by Chairman Conrad Lucas that showed excitement from the GOP:
“We look forward to Governor Justice reflecting the conservative values of our Party and platform.”
Lucas also told ABC News directly that “The rumors about Justice switching parties had been percolating since the legislative session. This wasn’t a new rumor for us at all.”
But the switch isn’t a huge surprise to those in West Virginia. In 2015, Justice switched from Republican to Democrat before his run for governor. As governor, Justice refused to support Hillary Clinton and strongly backed Trump. It is possible this could be because the governor made large amounts of money in the coal industry, which Trump has supported all along.
The Democratic party obviously hasn’t been excited about his switch. Democratic Governors Association’s Executive Director Elizabeth Pearson recently denounced Justice for his change:
“Jim Justice deceived the voters of West Virginia when he ran as a Democrat eight months ago.”
Pearson continued attacking President Trump and Justice:
“As Republicans have repeatedly said, Jim Justice owes millions of dollars in unpaid company taxes, after a deal with a Russian coal company. The debts have only worsened during Justice’s term as governor. If President Trump cut a deal, we hope it does not put U.S. taxpayers on the hook to bail out Jim Justice’s personal finances.”
Justice and Trump aren’t that different when it comes down to the basics. They both are billionaires, they both have luxury resorts, and they both have celebrities and athletes as close friends. The two have also spent time together with each other’s families.
Do you think Justice ran as a Democrat just to get elected? Let us know your thoughts below!
Credit: ABC News