Freshman West Virginia Delegate Elliot Pritt, who is also a teacher, just delivered more bad news to Democrats, declaring that he is switching parties and becoming a Republican because he feels they no longer embrace traditional values and if you disagree with them, you are not welcome in the party.
He wrote a letter to the House Democratic Caucus on Monday informing them that he’s outta there, “I am writing to inform you of my decision to leave the Democratic Party.”
“We are being pushed out,” Pritt asserted. “It has become more and more obvious that there is very little room in the party for traditional values or differences regarding political opinion.”
He told Democrats this wasn’t a decision he came to easily, but “after weeks of personal consideration, soul searching, and discussion with my family,” he came to the conclusion that leaving the party would be the best move in order for him to continue representing those in his district.
West Virginia Democrat, Elliot Pritt, has announced that he will be leaving the Democrat party for the Republican Party. pic.twitter.com/VWRsG3WxGQ
— FreedomRises (@freedomrises76) April 18, 2023
The former "progressive" Democrat elect @ElliottPritt is now a Republican. This is why I am no longer a Democrat. Why do Republicans need to do anything during elections when they have @wvdemocrats recruiting for them?
*cough* *cough* @WVGovernor pic.twitter.com/x2DMnzEEIy
— Paula Jean Swearengin (@paulajean2020) April 18, 2023
“I can no longer in good conscience remain a Democrat,” he told the party. “I simply cannot continue down the road that the Democratic Party is headed if I am to accurately represent my constituents and my people as well as my own conscience.”
He went on to tell Democrats that his traditional values and beliefs “are no longer compatible with the trajectory of the Democratic Party.”
He ended the letter by thanking Democrats and promising that he will continue to fight for working-class people, public education, and clean water. He also stated that he refuses to support issues that do not align with his constituents.
Pritt is the 4th Democrat to switch to the Republican Party in 2 months.
West Virginia Republican Party chairwoman Elgine McArdle warmly welcomed Pritt to the other side of the aisle in a statement.
“WVGOP Chairwoman Statement on Delegate Elliott Pritt Joining the Republican Party” pic.twitter.com/PuFzS6DeBF
— WVGOP (@WVGOP) April 17, 2023
“I want to welcome Delegate Elliott Pritt to the Republican Party. 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,” McArdle put forth.
She also said that Democrats are led by the “radical, woke left” who support policies that “defy logic and clash with traditional values.”
“The Democratic Party of today is the party of crime and lawlessness, the party of mobs, unchecked illegal immigration, runaway government spending, late-term abortion, and government overreach,” she added. “The Democratic Party lacks any accountability, yet they abuse governmental powers to suppress those who dare to oppose their opinions.”
“The Republican Party is the party of traditional American values,” McArdle noted. “We support the right to life, the right to keep and bear arms, strong national security, the traditional family, fiscal restraint, and we are proud of America.”
The Republican Party currently holds a supermajority in the West Virginia House, with 89 seats. The Democrats only hold 11 after Pritt’s defection. The 34-member state Senate also has a GOP supermajority with 31 Republicans and three Democrats. Sen. Joe Manchin is the only Democrat to currently hold statewide office.
According to Fox News, Pritt’s party change was accounted for by late Monday morning on the West Virginia Legislature’s official House roster. Pritt was the last Democrat delegate from the state’s southern coalfields.
In the West Virginia State Legislature, he currently serves as the minority chair of the Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services, the minority vice chair of the Committee on Education, the minority vice chair of the Committee on Jails and Prisons, the minority vice chair of the Committee on Pensions and Retirement, and on the Committee for Economic Development and Tourism.
West Virginia Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin blasted Pritt for dumping Democrats and accused him of being unreliable.
Human Weathervane Elliott Pritt Switches Parties (Yet Again)
For Immediate Release April 17, 2023
(Charleston, WV) Elliott Pritt started his political career as a self-avowed member of the Socialist Party USA. pic.twitter.com/dw1uC1ugRJ
— WV Democratic Party (@wvdemocrats) April 17, 2023
“The only thing you can be sure of with Elliott Pritt is that there’s nothing he won’t do in the name of political expediency. There is no line he won’t cross, no ideal he won’t reverse, and no principal he won’t violate if he thinks it will help him at the ballot box. In the end, the only thing you can count on with Elliott Pritt is that you can’t count on him,” Pushkin stated.
According to the Post Millennial, House Minority Leader Doug Skaff bitterly remarked, “Obviously, I’m disappointed in Elliott‘s decision to switch parties. It’s kind of odd that, just a few weeks ago, he was one of the most vocal Democrats working within our caucus to call out and hold Republicans accountable for their legislative agenda. Elliott made it clear that the Republicans had their priorities wrong on numerous occasions, and I’m curious to see how well he’ll be received within his new caucus.”
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