A former Democrat in West Virginia’s state legislature recently switched over to the Republican Party to try and become the next secretary of state.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Doug Skaff, a former Democratic leader in the state House of Delegates, has filed the paperwork needed to run for office as a Republican in 2024.
Former Delegate Doug Skaff has announced he will run for Secretary of State as a member of the Republican Party. https://t.co/TMFy40gWFx
— Charleston Gazette-Mail (@wvgazettemail) October 12, 2023
“In today’s ever-changing world I will bring a deep understanding of our laws, demonstrate strong leadership abilities, and uphold and promote fairness, transparency, and integrity in all aspects of the office,” Skaff said in a statement released by his campaign.
Skaff now joins seven Republicans seeking to be elected as West Virginia’s secretary of state. Among those running, including Skaff, are state Delegate Chris Pritt, Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood and former state Sen. Kenny Mann (R), according to The Intelligencer.
The West Virginia GOP wasn’t too pleased with their new member.
“Skaff was a reliable vote for his caucus’ liberal agenda and a regular vote against many pieces of conservative Republican legislation that we now call law,” West Virginia Republican Executive Committee Chairwoman Elgine McArdle said, as reported by the Western Journal.
“Now that Skaff is labeling himself as a ‘Republican,’ despite his storied liberal record in the House, the upcoming primary is one of those times,” McArdle added.
Skaff has had a reputation as being a true leftist in West Virginia’s state legislature, prompting some Democratic leaders to question his recent decision.
“While I appreciate Doug finally putting his cards on the table about his long-rumored, politically expedient party switch, I’m surprised he would try to reinvent himself as a right-wing conservative in the process,” Democratic state Delegate Mike Pushkin said.
“I know Doug has long been intoxicated by the idea of winning a statewide office,” Pushkin added.
Pushkin continued by saying that Skaff’s candidacy could be a little misleading toward Republicans in West Virginia since his voting record is anything but conservative.
Skaff said he is interested in ensuring safety, securing elections and supporting county clerks, according to his campaign website.
“We must work together on our shared West Virginia conservative values towards a common endeavor to Keep West Virginia Elections Safe and Secure. I will ensure that our freedom and fundamental right to vote is protected. And that we continue to partner with our County Clerks and election officials to give them the support and resources they need,” Skaff said.
It seems like everyone is switching over to the GOP these days.
Like Skaff, in 2017, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), a Democrat at the time, switched over to the Republican Party during a rally for then-President Donald Trump.