Switching Parties After an Election

So Governor Jim Justice of WV has switched to the Republican Party. Others have done so in the recent past as well, e.g. Arlen Spector and some others.

Personally, I think this is morally dubious. Fact is that the Democratic Governors Association recently spent over a million dollars to get this guy elected. And any number of other PACS, individual contributors, volunteers etc. did this on the basis of their support of the Democratic Party. Not to mention a lot of his voters. To accept this support and then turn around and stab all these people in the back by defecting to the Republican Party is dishonest.

The only honorable way to switch parties, IMO, is to do something like Phil Gramm did. After being reelected as a Democrat he was bounced from the Budget Committee. In response, he switched parties, but he also resigned from Congress and ran as a Republican in a special election to fill the vacant seat. This way, the voters, contributors, and volunteers got a chance to vote on him under his new label and make their choice on that basis. But to accept people’s support on one basis and pull the rug out from under them as soon as you get into office is duplicitous, IMO.

I doubt you’ll get too much argument on this one. I guess because it’s the governor position there’s some validity to the old counter argument of you elected the man not the party and a governor is a little less beholden to his party anyway compared to a legislator. But in most ways you’re right - it’s classic bait and switch.

I didn’t pay attention to the WV election. Is he renouncing the policies and platforms he ran on? If so, I agree, that’s dirty pool.

I don’t know much about the guy, but knowing a little about WV politics, he was probably a Democrat in name only anyway. That being said, it *is *a shitty thing to do to groups like the DGA.

But yet, it happens all the time.

I don’t know, but I doubt if he needs to move much - it sounds like he could fit in with either party (in WV).

But beyond his positions, the fact is that party members are part of a team. If he’s a member of the WV Democratic Party, that means that he’s going to be working to help other Democratic candidates get elected, in WV and beyond. He’s more likely to appoint fellow Democrats to various positions. And so on. Now he’ll be using the influence of his office in the other direction.

I’d agree with this. But I’m really not big on the party system, and I’m not big on loyalty to a big machine like a major party. Despite the fact that I dislike this motherfucker’s politics and even more deeply dislike his chumminess with the president, I don’t especially fault him for switching parties if he feels Republicans more accurately encompass his views.

That said, if he made some sort of explicit promise to the DGA, breaking his word is a problem. More importantly, if he is significantly changing his politics now, that’s a problem.

Agree, but I feel the party and it’s members have some responsibility for nominating a guy that’s so … shifty. It’s sort of like faithless electors: well, that sucks, but next time, choose more loyal people.

Several Maine legislators have changed parties this year. Kevin Battle(Formerly R) and Denise Harlow (Formerly D) both became independents because they wanted what was best for the state, rather than their own parties. I think this was a great move on their part, and both of them were known for crossing party lines to accomplish things.

He’s fully qualified to be a Republican, he’s up to his ass in trouble due to dealings with Russia.

Enjoy him. Democrats nominated him not knowing he was shifty. Republicans accepted him knowing exactly who he was.

“Republicans are so stupid.” - Whoopi Goldberg

It’s not like they can say he’s not allowed to be a Republican.

I’m not really bothered by this. There will be another election in a few years, and the voters can kick him out if they don’t like him. WV does not allow for recall of governors, so the good folks of that state might want to rethink that.

It might be unethical but I don’t see any grounds for prohibiting the practice. It’s less dubious in the case of someone like Justice who was basically a Democrat in name only, like most of the few remaining ‘blue dog’ Democrats south of the Mason-Dixon. Joe Manchin might not be far behind.

He had switched from Republican to Democratic just for the 2016 primary. Someone on another site said because that was easier to win. Which it was (see Ballotpedia).

NYT says before that he had “variously” registered as a Republican, a Democrat and an independent.

ISTM “Shifty” was his middle name.

As a voter, I wouldn’t be thrilled, and as the WVDP/Democratic Governors’ Association/Whatever, I’d probably be less thrilled. But he’s within his rights. I don’t really see how switching parties is any different than abandoning policy-related campaign promises.

And the party really doesn’t have much to complain about; this phenomenon has benefited the Democratic Party (particularly in the Senate) more often than not.

The guy was a Dem for 2 of his 64 years. We’re good.

It’s annoying, but it has happened many times, both ways.

‘Just tell me what you want me to be’.

I don’t have a problem with anyone switching parties, even if it’s an elected official in their mid-term. A party exists to further the agendas of its members. If it doesn’t do that, then change party.

Or, to put it bluntly, a political party is not an entity that deserves loyalty.