West Virginia lawmaker switches to Republican party, adding to existing supermajority in state legislature

By Jen Krausz on
 April 18, 2023

West Virginia state lawmaker Elliott Pritt, a delegate, switched from Democrat to Republican on Monday, giving Republicans a bigger supermajority than they already had.

“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,” state party chair Elaine McArdle stated.

Pritt originally was a pickup for Democrats when he defeated a Republican for the seat. He may have to give up lucrative minority positions on committees because of the change.

Democrats blasted Pritt for the changeover. West Virginia Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin said, “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.”

Republicans now have supermajorities in 25 state legislatures, and four other Democrats have switched to Republican in other states to help form some of the new supermajorities.

Hopefully, this trend will continue, and voters will see how well it works out at the state level and carry it over to federal elections in 2024 and beyond.