West Virginia state Sen. Glenn Jeffries left the Democratic Party to become a registered Republican this week.
Jeffries, who has represented West Virginia state Senate District 8 since 2016, claimed “economic development” as one of the driving reasons he made the party switch.
“I look and see how I can best represent the state of West Virginia and my constituents. I never have been a party person. I’ve always been able to work together with whomever it may be,” the new Republican said in an interview with Metro News West Virginia. “Making this switch is going to help me be more effective as far as recruiting and bringing companies here to this state.”
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When questioned on how switching from being a Democrat to a Republican would help West Virginia economics, the state senator said it’s because he wants to be part of the economic decisions being made in his state.
Jeffries also confirmed that the paperwork was filed, and his transition to the GOP is official.
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“Change is difficult,” the state senator said when asked if he struggled with the decision. “I had wrestled with this.”
“I have the greatest respect for the many friends and supporters I have been blessed with during my time in public office,” Jeffries said in a statement. “I hope to continue and strengthen those relationships going forward.”
According to the Metro News West Virginia report, Tony Hodge, the Putnam County Republican Party chairman and the co-chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, publicly welcomed Jeffries into the GOP.
“I warmly welcome Sen. Glenn Jeffries into the West Virginia Republican Party,” Hodge said in a statement.
In this year’s midterm elections, the GOP built a 30-seat majority in the 34-member Senate. Jeffries’ move takes the Republicans’ majority 31.
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Jeffries isn’t the first Democrat to recently abandon the party. Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made headlines by becoming an independent, claiming the Democratic Party is “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.”