Policymaking News

West Virginia: Governor Justice Switches Parties
August 04, 2017

Governor Jim Justice took the opportunity, at a political rally with President Donald Trump (R) late yesterday, to announce that he was planning to switch his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican today (he had previously been registered as both a Republican and an Independent). Governor Justice indicated his dissatisfaction with Democrats in the legislature who apparently delayed passage of the state budget this year. Justice had fought political battles with the GOP-controlled legislature this year, primarily with House Speaker Tim Armistead, creating a mixed reaction from both parties to the announcement.

Justice becomes the first governor in the state to switch political parties since John J. Jacob switched from Democrat to Independent in 1873. Justice’s move now gives the Republicans complete control of the West Virginia statehouse.

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