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Democrat Lawmaker Abandons Party, Turns Republican

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The Democrat Party lost another valuable player to the GOP. 

Former West Virginia Democrat Sen. Glenn Jeffries announced that he is leaving his party and switching to become a Republican. 


“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, adding “our politics have gotten so personal and difficult… I want to make sure that I serve constitutes and our state in a respectful, thoughtful way that leads to a better life for all West Virginians.” 

Jeffries moved to the Right side of the aisle, adding to the supermajority that already controls the Senate. He represents parts of Kanawha and Putnam counties in District 8, and out of the 34 seats in the West Virginia Senate, four seats were Democrats before the switch. However, that number now goes down to three.

In his statement, Jeffries said that he plans to “work in a bipartisan way to find solutions for our biggest problems in West Virginia.” 

Less than one month after the election, Jeffries declined to acknowledge why he made the switch. However, a statement from the West Virginia Democratic Party said that the former Democrat left due to “discomfort with Democratic Party values.”


Following his announcement, several people close to Jeffries gave their thoughts. 

“Glenn expressed to me his discomfort with the leftward direction of the Democratic Party and that he no longer identifies with them,” Tony Hodge, Putnam County Republican Party chair said.

Meanwhile, Del. Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha) suggested Jeffries move had to do with opportunity than it dis with any sort of ideology. 

West Virginia state Senate President Craig Blair (R) welcomes Jeffries to the Republican Party. 

“Glenn has been a leader in the minority caucus with his work in economic development and infrastructure. 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,” Blair said. 

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