WASHINGTON D.C. – The Republican Governors Association released the following statement regarding the announcement tonight that West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is leaving the Democratic Party, joining the Republican Party, and will become the nation’s 34th Republican governor.
“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,” said RGA Chairman Governor Scott Walker. “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.”
Republicans will now hold 34 governorships, the highest number of Republican governors in U.S. history. Democrats will now only hold 15 governorships, a near century low.
This is the first time a sitting governor has switched from Democrat to Republican in 26 years. The last time it occurred was in 1991, when Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer left the Democratic Party and become a Republican.