A notable Democratic member of the West Virginia legislature has declared his intention to transition to the opposing political party and run for the office of secretary of state in 2019.
Doug Skaff has formally declared his intention to run for office by registering as a pre-candidate. In a statement, Skaff expressed “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. I’ve had enough.”
Campaigns are granted permission to initiate the process of raising funds and submitting campaign finance reports once their pre-candidacy documentation has been finalized. An individual is not considered a legitimate contender unless they have duly submitted a unique certificate of proclamation and complied with the obligation to remit the filing fee. January has been officially designated as the registration period in preparation for the 2024 election.
As per the information provided by Fox News, Skaff tendered his resignation as the Democratic leader in August, and subsequently relinquished his House seat that represented Kanawha County the previous month.
Elgine McArdle, the chairperson of the West Virginia Republican Party, met Skaff’s assertion with a degree of skepticism.
In a statement, McCardle acknowledged that “The West Virginia Republican Party recognizes the philosophical nuances that can exist within the Party and welcomes those who genuinely believe in our cause; however, Republican voters are sometimes tasked with differentiating between ‘philosophical nuances’ and ‘diametric ideological opposition. 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.”
Skaff declares his position on the issue of party affiliation modification to be one that supports the preservation of life, the right to keep and bear arms, and the advancement of the coal industry. Much like a considerable number of individuals, his fundamental tenets remain unchanged, with the sole modification being his political affiliation.
According to Skaff, “100,000 Republicans didn’t just move to West Virginia overnight, and change their party affiliation. These were old blue dog Democrats who were always conservative mainstream and just registered with a different party. Like many others before me, I know I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to work with a team in the Republican Party that represents the majority of West Virginia’s interests.”
Skaff became an initial member of the House in 2009 and continued to hold that position until 2014. The subject in issue was re-elected with a resounding victory in 2018. The Charleston Gazette-Mail, similar to other periodicals in the state, is a subsidiary of HD Media and is currently presided over by the aforementioned individual.
Pushkin took a parting shot, saying, “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. I know Doug has long been intoxicated by the idea of winning a statewide office. Still, his candidacy could leave Republican primary voters with a hangover when they find out about his actual voting record.”
Skaff is one of an increasing cohort of Democrats who have recently shifted their political allegiance to the Republican Party.
Jeremy LaCombe, a state representative from Louisiana, formally announced his withdrawal from the Democratic Party and subsequent affiliation with the Republican Party in the preceding month.
Notwithstanding the initial ambiguity surrounding LaCombe’s rationale for the switch, it is significant that he has joined a North Carolina state senator as the second Democrat in Louisiana to do so in the space of a month. A similar transition was also reported within a month, placing him as the third individual in the nation to alter his party affiliation.
The Republican Party’s recent attainment of a supermajority in the state House was enabled through the defection of an additional Democrat, specifically Representative Francis Thompson from Delhi. This advancement holds considerable importance as it empowers the Republican Party to exceed the necessary threshold to supersede vetoes and pass tax legislation into law.
A state legislator from North Carolina, Tricia Cotham, was similarly involved in the action mentioned earlier this month.
LaCombe secured his House seat in 2019 by amassing 68% and 62% of the vote, respectively, in a special election and a general election, thereby defeating the Republican candidates.
The occurrence of party switches emerges within the framework of President Joe Biden’s substantial decrease in support ratings from key demographic segments, which have approached historically low levels.
The Daily Wire reports that an examination of polling data performed by RealClearPolitics (RCP) indicates that in a prospective electoral contest, former President Donald Trump has garnered a greater degree of public support in comparison to President Biden.