Logan delegate switches from Democrat to independent
By Andrew Brown, The Charleston Gazette-Mail
Delegate Rupie Phillips, one of the state’s most conservative Democratic lawmakers, is switching his party affiliation to Independent, arguing that the national Democratic party hasn’t done a good job of being “pro-coal, pro-gun, pro-life and pro-jobs.”
“It is clear to me that the citizens of my district want a true Independent voice in Charleston,” Phillips said in a press release. “I have been and will continue to be that voice. The people have also been more important than party affiliation to me, and I hope this action sends a message to everyone that the people of southern West Virginia want and deserve change.”
Phillips’ decision to leave the Democratic Party, the press release says, was partly driven by the “reaction to the Presidential Inauguration.” The day after Trump was sworn in, hundreds of thousands of people protested as part of the women’s marches that were organized in state capitals and major cities throughout the country.
He also cited the “War on Coal,” a now well-known phrase that has often been used in political campaign ads to attack former President Barack Obama for advancing rules to reduce water and air pollution from mines and coal-fired power plants.
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