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Another State Democrat Lawmaker Flips to Republican

West Virginia’s Republican supermajority became larger as Del. Elliott Pritt switched parties.

Elaine McArdle, West Virginia Republican Party chairwoman, released a statement about Pritt switching to the Republican Party.

“I want to welcome Delegate Elliott Pritt to the Republican Party,” she said.

“Like so many West Virginians, Delegate Pritt has recognized that the Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party that our parents grew up with.”

With his move to the Republican Party, Pritt is the fourth Democrat nationwide to flip parties in less than two months.

CBS News reported:

The move gives the GOP 89 members in the House, while the Democrats’ ranks dwindled to 11. Pritt’s decision was already accounted for by late morning on the West Virginia Legislature’s official House roster.

Pritt had been the last Democrat in the House in the state’s southern coalfields.

The 34-member state Senate also has a GOP supermajority with 31 Republicans and three Democrats.

The move continues a Republican wave in the state that started a decade ago. After the 2014 election, the GOP took control of the state Senate and House from Democrats for the first time in more than eight decades.

Buoyed by criticism of former two-term President Barack Obama’s energy policies in coal-rich West Virginia, registered Democrats in 2014 fell below 50% for the first time since 1932. There are now about 456,000 registered Republicans, or 39.6% of all registered voters in West Virginia, according to the secretary of state’s office. That compares with about 372,000 registered Democrats, or 32.3%.

Louisiana Democrats took a second hit last week when State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe decided to switch his party affiliation.

The lawmaker, elected in 2019, is the second Louisiana Democrat to switch to Republican within a month.

LaCombe’s party switch gives the GOP a larger majority in the Louisiana House, which recently became a supermajority.

Veto-Proof Power: N.C. GOP Gains Ground with Party Flip

North Carolina Democrat Tricia Cotham also ditched the party earlier this month.

Veto-Proof Power: N.C. GOP Gains Ground with Party Flip

Breitbart News noted:

Breitbart News wrote this month that Democrat state representatives switching parties and one special election since mid-March gave Republicans three new supermajorities in state legislatures, bringing the total to 25 nationwide.

  • Louisiana state Rep. Francis Thompson left the Democrat Party in mid-March
  • North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham left the Democrat Party at the beginning of April.
  • Wisconsin state Rep. Dan Knodl (R) defeated a Democrat attorney to win an open state Senate seat in Wisconsin at the beginning of April.
  • Louisiana state Rep. Jeremy LaCombe left the Democrat Party last week.

Now, Republicans in North Carolina and Louisiana can override vetoes from Democrat governors, while Republicans in Wisconsin are now just two seats away in the State Assembly from having the power to override vetoes from Democrat Gov. Tony Evers.


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