LOGAN, W.Va. — During an interview with the Logan Banner, newly styled independent delegate Rupie Philips explained his reasoning for dropping his Democratic affiliation and becoming the state’s sole independent delegate.
Phillips is the delegate for West Virginia’s 24th house district representing most of Logan County and parts of Boone and Wyoming Counties.
The former Democrat noted he felt the Democratic Party in West Virginia was in crisis saying the party had abandoned the ideals of the people of the 24th district.
“I’m still old school, die hard, JFK southern West Virginia conservative Democrat. As Harry Keith White said, ‘The Democrats of southern West Virginia are god fearing, bible thumping, gun toting Democrats. Today liberal democrats are, by far, not that. The liberal D.C. Democrats have killed the Democrat Party,” commented Phillips.
Another point Phillips pointed out that he felt had helped to precipitated his move away from the Democratic Party was their support for abortion.
Phillips explained, “I have fought the Democratic Party every primary. I’m for the people. I don’t care what the leadership says in Charleston — Democrat or Republican. If my people say, ‘no’ then I’m ‘no.” If they say, ‘yes” then I’m ‘yes.’”
Phillips also pointed to the continued wave of Democratic loss and Republican gains throughout the nation’s state houses and governor’s seats.
Phillips explained he felt Democrats in the state house and senate expected him to vote for abortion, against guns and to over-regulate the coal industry.
Phillips noted he did not expect to be the only independent representative for long saying he expected others would eventually abandon the Democratic Party in West Virginia.
“They might not have meant it, but there were several…democrats that made the comment to me and I made the comment to them that if Hillary won, we were going to go independent,” added Phillips.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 or by email at [email protected]