Former Democrat State Senator Glenn Jeffries has switched to the Republican Party.
A release from the West Virginia Democratic Party said that the switch was due to “discomfort with Democratic Party values.”
In a statement, Jeffries said, “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.”
Jeffries, who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, represents parts of Kanawha and Putnam counties. Jeffries said that he has the greatest respect for the many friends and supporters he has been blessed with during his time in public office and wants to “work in a bipartisan way” with those on the other side of the aisle.
In an interview with Metro News, Jeffries said that he looks every day to see how he can best represent the people. He said that he had never been a party person and made the decision based on what he felt was best for him and for the people he represents.
Jeffries also said that he felt that changing his political party would help the “momentum” of bringing in new businesses into the state and that it was a part of “going in the right direction.”
Why did @GlennJeffriesWV make the switch from Democrat to Republican? He provides his reasoning with @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nEhk6 pic.twitter.com/fSJzq10c21
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) December 1, 2022
When asked if he struggled with the decision, Jeffries admitted that he did wrestle with it, but it came down to how he could best represent West Virginia. Jeffries said he would work with everyone, regardless of party. “I’m not going to change; I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Jeffries said.
The West Virginia Senate was already strongly Republican. Only four seats out of 34 seats were held by Democrats before the switch. That number now goes down to three.
West Virginia Sen. Glenn Jeffries, one of the few remaining Democratic senators in the state, announced Thursday he is switching parties.https://t.co/OZnKtLu3Ip
— Eyewitness News (@wchs8fox11) December 1, 2022
Tony Hodge, Putnam County Republican Party chair, said that Jeffries had expressed “his discomfort with the leftward direction of the Democratic Party and that he no longer identifies with them.”
West Virginia’s Democratic Party chair Mike Pushkin seemed less than happy in an interview with Eyewitness News, saying he hoped that Jeffries would condemn the “dangerous and ill-advised actions” by former President Trump. Pushkin referenced a recent dinner hosted by President Trump for rapper Kanye West who brought along far-right activist Nick Fuentes. “For Senator Jeffries to claim he doesn’t like the direction of the Democratic Party, barely a week after his new party’s de facto leader had dinner with a Holocaust-denying white supremacist, is like being called ugly by a frog,” Pushkin said.