WVGOP Chair Statement on Former Democrat Leader Switching Parties to Run for Secretary of State

October 12, 2023
Contact: info@wvgop.org

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Republican Party (WVGOP) Chairwoman Elgine McArdle issued the following statement on former House Democrat Leader Doug Skaff switching his voter registration to Republican and pursuing a run for Secretary of State. 

“Voters in West Virginia and across the country who identify as Republican do so for a reason. The Republican Party believes in promoting liberty, economic prosperity, personal responsibility, conservative principles, and the preservation of family values and the American dream. At a minimum, voters expect their Republican leaders, elected officials, and candidates to subscribe to these values, and by and large, voters find that to be the case. In West Virginia, the Republican Party has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and we certainly welcome voters and public servants who join the Party as a matter of policies and principles. Unfortunately, because the Republican nomination for public office in West Virginia has become so coveted, voters must be especially vigilant to ensure the Republican candidates for whom they vote are Republicans for the right reason. Last month, Democrat Delegate Doug Skaff resigned from his seat in the House of Delegates, as well as his position as the Leader of the House Democrat Caucus. He has since registered as a Republican and taken steps to pursue a run for Secretary of State. During his tenure as the House Minority Leader, Skaff co-sponsored legislation to institute universal absentee voting, ballot drop boxes, and the elimination of signature match requirements for provisional ballots. Delegate Skaff voted to allow biological men to compete in women’s sports, and he repeatedly voted against Republican, pro-life legislation. 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,” said McArdle.

“It is the responsibility of Republican primary voters to choose their nominees, and while the WVGOP trusts the primary process, the Party must also continue to be a resource to its voters as they research candidates and legislation.” McArdle concluded, “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.”


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