West Virginia’s governor is expected to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party on Thursday.
The New York Times reported that Gov. Jim Justice, a former businessman, would join President Donald Trump at a rally tonight in Huntington, West Virginia, and his party switch.
This wouldn’t be the first time Justice has jumped parties – he was a Republican until just before he launched his run for governor in 2015.
He has also made no secret of his affinity for Trump and his agenda.
The coal-mining baron has referred to Trump as a family friend, and he occasionally texts and hunts with Trump’s son Eric. During a gubernatorial campaign debate last year, he sparred with the Republican candidate, Bill Cole, over who was personally closer to Trump.
Throughout his brief political career, Justice has kept his distance from both parties. He has vehemently denied supporting the agendas of Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and President Barack Obama. But he also rejected the West Virginia Republican Legislature’s attempted budget cuts, instead proposing a budget with new revenue through tax increases.
The move would make Sen. Joe Manchin the last major Democratic leader in the state and leave Democrats with just 15 governorships.