CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — West Virginia Delegate Rupert “Rupie” Phillips is set to file paperwork to switch from the state Democratic party to become the only Independent member of the House of Delegates.
Phillips, elected to the House of Delegates in 2010, said in a release from the House of Delegates that citizens in his district “want a true and independent voice in Charleston.”
Phillips said regulations on coal have hurt nearly everyone he knows and that he will always be pro-coal.
“By becoming an Independent, I know that it will put me in a better position to make sure the concerns of my district are heard,” Phillips said in the release. “No matter what my party affiliation is, I will always be pro-coal, pro-gun, pro-life and pro-jobs, unfortunately not many in the Democratic party share those views anymore.”
Phillips, who was recently re-elected to District 24, works in the coal industry and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, the release said.