UPDATED: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appeared at a rally Thursday night with President Trump, who won the state by over 40 points, and announced that he is switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Justice cited issues with fellow Democrats in the state legislature and his common ground with President Trump as the reason for his switch.
Justice, a billionaire from his dealings in real estate (he evens owns a golf course/resort) and the coal industry, was a registered Republican until 2015 when he switched to Democrat shortly before running for governor. While running, he declined to endorse Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign and had a history of donating to candidates from both parties in the past.
According to the Times, the switch will affect West Virginia’s Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (also one of the state’s former governors), whose seat is up for re-election in 2018 and being eyed by Trump and the Republicans, who have asked Manchin to switch parties in the past in order to add to the Republican Senate majority.
Earlier this year, Justice brought a platter of cow excrement into the state capitol building in protest of the state’s Republican legislators’ budget proposal. “What we have is nothing more than bunch of political bull you-know-what,” Justice said at the time.
The rally can be seen below, though it flows similar to all of Trump’s celebratory rallies in his premature 2020 campaign run.
(Via New York Times)