RGA Chairman Governor Scott Walker released the following statement in response to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice formally leaving the Democratic Party for the GOP:
“Across the country, Republican governors are taking action, getting results, achieving meaningful reform and leading their states forward, and we’re thrilled that Governor Jim Justice wants to join our efforts... On behalf of our nation’s Republican governors, we welcome Governor Justice to the RGA, and look forward to working with him to advance conservative principles and strengthen West Virginia.”
Justice's switch to the Republican Party leaves Democrats with only 15 governorships in the U.S. - a near century low. What's more, this is the first time a sitting governor switched from Democrat to Republican since Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer did it in 1991.
Democrats Are In Deep Trouble...
"Today, I will tell you, with lots of prayers and lots of thinking, I can't help you anymore being a Democrat governor," Justice said last week at a rally with President Donald Trump in Huntington. "So tomorrow, I will be changing my registration to Republican."
Say what you want, governors don't change parties every day. The last to do it was Lincoln Chaffee, the governor of Rhode Island, who had been elected as an independent but joined the Democrats midway through his single term in office as a prelude to an all-too-brief flirtation with his new party's 2016 presidential nomination. Before that is was Buddy Roemer who, as governor of Louisiana, joined the GOP back when George Herbert Walker Bush was president.
Justice's decision to join in the GOP while chief executive of a state the Democrats as recently as 10 years ago owned from top to bottom is a huge, Las Vegas strip-style neon sign telling the Democrats they're in more trouble than they know.