Gov. Justice pleased with election results

CHARLESTON — The governor of West Virginia Wednesday was happy Republicans kept control of the state House and Senate.

Then Gov. Jim Justice said: “Now we all need to remember one thing. We aren’t Democrats, we aren’t Republicans, we are West Virginians.”

Justice said he was pleased with the results of the mid-term election on Tuesday.

“Considering all the circumstances, I thought the results of Tuesday’s election were as close to perfect as they could have been,” Justice said. “Republicans retained control of both the House of Delegates and the state Senate, and we elected two Supreme Court justices that will give a flavor of conservatism and that has never been done.”

A major Republican Party shake-up in the Senate was the defeat of Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns to former U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld, a Democrat. Ferns represents the 1st District in Northern Panhandle.

Ihlenfeld was endorsed by the West Virginia Education Association. Teachers went on strike earlier this year during the legislative session.

Justice said his support helped Republican Carol Miller beat Democrat Richard Ojeda in the 3rd Congressional District of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“When I went out into the coalfields and started working on behalf of Carol Miller in the Third Congressional District it flipped that race,” he said.

Melody Potter, the chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, also issued a statement Wednesday citing the Republicans winning all three U.S. House of Representatives contests, continue to be the majority party in the Leislature and the approval of Amendment 1 “to stop taxpayer funding of elective abortions.”

She said Justice and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito “made an incredible difference in uniting voters behind the economic growth agenda that President Trump and our Republican Party has enacted.”

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey ran a good campaign, Potter said. Morrisey, heavily supported by Trump, lost to incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.

Justice also cited Caleb Hanna, Dean Jeffries and Daniel Linville.

“We have winners that are superstars,” Justice said. “I was really excited to see that Caleb Hanna was elected in the 44th House District. He is a bright young man and I hope he sets the example for more of our young people to seek office and get involved. I was also very pleased that Daniel Linville, who I recently appointed in the 16th House District to fill a vacancy, and Dean Jeffries, who I appointed to fill a vacancy in the 40th House District, were successful in their respective races.”

Justice congratulated all the winners and expressed an appreciation to all who ran “to serve our great state and its people,” he said.

“I also want to congratulate the voters for getting out to exercise their right to vote and ultimately decide who the people are that will represent them,” he said. “It’s the American way.”