Democratic governors: Jim Justice 'deceived' West Virginia
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The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) blasted West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday after the governor announced his decision to leave the Democratic Party and join the GOP at a rally with President Trump.

In a press release Thursday night, the DGA, which raised $1 million for Justice during his 2016 run for governor, said that West Virginians can't trust Justice.

"Jim Justice deceived the state of West Virginia when he ran as a Democrat 8 months ago," DGA Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson wrote.


"West Virginians have learned that they simply can't trust Jim Justice. He will always put his financial interests above the needs of West Virginians."

The statement continues, noting that Republicans in the state have often criticized Justice's personal finances.

"As Republicans have repeatedly said, Jim Justice owes millions in unpaid company taxes, after a deal with a Russian coal company," Pearson wrote. "These debts have only worsened under Justice's term as governor."

"If President Trump cut a deal," she added, "we hope it does not put U.S. taxpayers on the hook to bail out Jim Justice's personal finances."

Justice's decision was revealed Thursday afternoon after Trump hinted about the "very big announcement" at tonight's rally earlier Thursday. 

“We’re going to have a very big announcement, which will be very exciting I think for the media and everyone else,” Trump said. “I believe I’ll be making it in West Virginia, so that will be very exciting.”

West Virginia is a GOP stronghold, and Trump won 68 percent of the vote in the state in November. Justice, who was facing a GOP opponent buoyed by more than $3 million in GOP spending, won with 49 percent of the vote.