After promises of a “very big announcement,” West Virginia governor Jim Justice announced that he will be switching from the Democratic party to the Republican party during President Donald Trump’s Thursday night rally in the state.
“Like it or not like it, but the Democrats walked away from me,” Justice explained his decision. “Today I will tell you with lots of prayers and lots of thanking. Today I will tell you as West Virginians, I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor.”
To crowd roared with applause and cheers as he added, “So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican.”
Justice went on to praise President Trump for his work in the White House so far and pledged that he will stand with him to “Make America Great Again.” The president in turn praised Justice for his decision.
“He showed the country that our agenda rises above left or right,” he said. “It’s an agenda for all of the people, especially for the tens of millions of forgotten Americans.”
Speculations of Justice’s party change circulated earlier in the afternoon and comes many months after Justice and several other Democratic leaders retracted their support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton because she “put a lot of coal and coal companies out of business.”
“The reason I can’t be [a Clinton supporter] is her position on coal is diametrically, completely wrong in many, many different ways,” Justice said at the time.