CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Delegate Marshall Wilson, West Virginia House of Delegate member from Berkeley County, has changed his party affiliation from Republican to Independent. He issued the following statement:
“There are a number of great Republicans in state government working effectively to uphold the principles of the people of the state of West Virginia. Unfortunately, the chairwoman of the West Virginia GOP does not. Not only does she refuse to consult with anyone who disagrees with her, she interferes in the operations of elected county executive committees beyond the scope of her authority.
This is not an appropriate way to run an organization, and it is certainly not an effective way to run a representative organization. At this time, I can much more effectively represent the people who hired me and our shared principles as an Independent.
I want to make one thing clear: My action today in no way reflects on the leadership or membership of the House of Delegates. I have a great deal of respect for my Republican colleagues in this Legislature and look forward to continuing to serve alongside them.”
West Virginia Republican Party Chair Melody Potter issued the following statement on the party switch:
“I am disappointed by the decision of Delegate S. Marshall Wilson to change party affiliation to Independent, and I am even more profoundly disappointed with the explanation provided by Delegate Wilson. No two members of the Republican Party agree on every issue but this party is a big tent party. Over the years, I have had disagreements on various issues with other party members, including legislators. I have chosen to discuss those issues with those stakeholders privately. Delegate Wilson’s actions today are the latest in a long string of erratic and foolish behavior that he’s exhibited over the years. His actions bring dishonor and discredit to his service in the House and betray the voters who thought they were electing a Republican when they voted for him.”
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, (R-Clay), issued the following statement in response to the change of party:
“While we are disappointed any time someone leaves our party, we recognize Delegate Wilson as a staunch conservative who has devoted himself to defending the principles of freedom and liberty upon which this country was founded,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “Marshall met with me prior to changing his registration to inform me of his decision, and while I’m saddened by his change of registration, I understand and respect his choice to do what he believes is in the best interests of the citizens he represents.
While he will no longer be a registered member of the Republican Party, we look forward to continuing to work with Marshall to pass bold legislation that advances our shared goals of promoting economic growth, defending our liberties and unleashing prosperity for all West Virginians.”