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Democratic West Virginia State Senator Switches To Republican Party

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


West Virginia Democratic state Sen. Glenn Jeffries has switched his registration to the Republican Party. The state senator submitted paperwork to join the Republican caucus serving as a Democrat since 2016. The Republicans now hold a majority in the state senate of 31 senators. 

“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 his announcement. “I hope to continue and strengthen those relationships going forward. Our politics have gotten so personal and difficult. I want to make sure that I serve constituents and our state in a respectful, thoughtful way that leads to a better life for all West Virginians.”

In a statement, the West Virginia Democratic Party responded by saying Jeffries made the change because of “discomfort with Democratic Party values.”

“Just last year Senator Jeffries received the highest score of any West Virginia Senator from Climate Cabinet Action, a national group dedicated to supporting the best climate and environmental justice champions in statehouses across the country,” West Virginia Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin said in a statement. “Hopefully, Glenn will be permitted to continue to be an environmental justice champion in his new party.”

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“I warmly welcome Senator Glenn Jeffries into the West Virginia Republican Party,” Tony Hodge, the Putnam County Republican Party Chairman and the Co-Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, said. “Senator Jeffries has proven himself to be a very hard worker for Putnam County. His efforts to improve infrastructure such as water and sewer services as well as road maintenance have been exemplary.”

“With Senator Jeffries as a member of our caucus, we stand at 31 members strong. Glenn has been a leader in the minority caucus with his work in economic development and infrastructure,” Senate President Craig Blair said. “As a successful small business owner, he knows what meeting a payroll, hard work, responsibility, and teamwork mean. I know he has been – and will continue to be – an incredibly valuable member of the West Virginia Senate.”

In national news, Republicans won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and won more votes nationwide, edging Democrats by around three or four percentage points.

“If they do ultimately win by around three or four points, it would mean Republicans improved on their margin from the 2020 election by around six or seven points, but they were only able to add about 2 percent of seats, as the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman notes,” the Washington Post reported.

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“This has understandably led to some griping and head-scratching among Republicans who wonder how they’re struggling to win the House despite that swing. But it’s worth putting in context. The first thing to note is that we have incomplete results. The Cook Political Report’s national popular vote tracker currently shows Republicans winning 51.5 percent of House votes to the Democrats’ 47 percent — a gap of 4.5 points. It’s safe to assume Republicans will win the popular vote by a few points, but that margin will continue to narrow as we get more results from blue-leaning states out west, especially California,” the outlet added.

Despite Republicans winning the popular vote nationwide, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the GOP underperformed in many areas. He also said there should be a postmortem-type review of where the GOP could improve and what it got right in the midterm election.

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“I look at this and there’s so many questions – in 2014 when we won, Reince Priebus who was the Republican National Committee chairman, asked me to develop a review – even though we had won – to try to figure it out. And I think that Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the RNC, ought to set up a similar review committee,” he said.

“There’s so many questions that we need to get answered,” Gingrich added. “We need to examine that. Apparently, some incumbents lost who shouldn’t have. We should examine that. No incumbent lost in 2020 with Kevin McCarthy’s leadership and no Republican lost in 1994 when we took the House.”

“We had five or 6 million more votes and we don’t pick up a whole bunch of seats. We need to analyze that. I mean, there’s something going on out there that we don’t understand,” he said. “But, I can’t wait for the moment where Pelosi has to hand… Kevin McCarthy the gavel and the degree to which in committees and investigations and scheduling things, all of a sudden you’re in a totally different House.”

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“And remember, the biggest change in Washington will be when Nancy Pelosi hands that gavel over to Kevin McCarthy. You go from a radical liberal to a solid conservative. That is the biggest single change,” Gingrich said, adding that President Joe Biden’s celebratory press conference on Wednesday showed the president “has no idea what’s going on” and is likely to continue his far-left governing position.

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