Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, has announced he is leaving Democratic Party for Republican.
He made this announcement at President Trump’s rally on Thursday evening.
Justice said, “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.”
Earlier in the day, Trump had teased a “big announcement” at the event in Huntington, West Virginia.
Thursday night, he praised the 6-foot-7-inch governor he nicknamed “Big Jim” for “show(ing) the country our agenda rises above left or right.”
News of Justice’s plans, which were first reported by The New York Times, surprised Republicans and Democrats alike in West Virginia.
Prior to the news, the West Virginia GOP had even published an ill-timed tweet attacking Justice for being “low-energy.”
But in a statement obtained by ABC News earlier on Friday, the West Virginia GOP Chairman, Conrad Lucas, said, “We look forward to Governor Justice reflecting the conservative values of our Party and platform.”
Lucas added to ABC News, “The rumours about Justice switching parties had been percolating since the legislative session. This wasn’t a new rumour for us at all.”
With Justice’s departure from the party, Democrats will now only hold 15 state houses across the country