- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2017

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday that he relates to the Trump family and looks forward to working with the administration as a Republican.

“Don Jr. and I hunted together, fished together,” Mr. Justice said at a press conference in the state. “I’ve been with Ivanka in the White House, and everything, and she’s great. So I know them.”

Mr. Justice, who announced Thursday his plans to switch his party affiliation during a rally with President Trump, said he has no intention of leaving West Virginia to take a White House post.

“No sir,” he said. “I have no ambition in the world to leave this state.”

He said that in order to take care of the state and address issues like the opioid epidemic, unemployment or the poverty rate he needs to be a Republican. Mr. Justice said the Democrats in the House of Delegates, of which there are 36 compared to 64 Republicans, couldn’t come together with him on any issue.

“It’s just simply this, the people that are in office, those 36 people, dropped the ball,” he said. “And I don’t have any confidence that I’m going to be able to get those 36 people to stay … united and everything if I were to remain a Democrat.”

Mr. Justice will be switching his party affiliation for the second time in less than three years, having switched from a Republican to a Democrat in 2015.

But he insisted that his new party affiliation won’t change his political outlook or demeanor.

“Jim is still going to be Jim,” Mr. Justice said, speaking in the third person. “Jim can’t help West Virginia the way it is today.”

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