CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio says he is interested in candidates and elected officials who can choose a side.  “I want people that, when they make a commitment on election day, that they live up to their commitment,” said Puccio.

“I don’t want people that jump all around to serve themselves.”

Ohio County Delegate Ryan Ferns became the latest Democrat to change his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican when he made the switch, earlier this week, and launched a campaign for the state Senate in the First District.

During his announcement, Ferns said, “I’ve just reached the point where I think that, for the betterment of West Virginia and my district, I think the Republican Party’s views are what’s best for the state.”

Puccio says he thinks Ferns, who first became a member of the House in 2010, would have lost a reelection bid for the House as a Democrat.

“The folks with the Republican Party said, ‘Hey, we’ll give you an opportunity,’ and so he made the decision of taking this opportunity for himself, not for the people of his area,” Puccio claimed.

“We want to work with people that really want to make a commitment to serving the families, the people, the veterans, our seniors in West Virginia and we’re not out to make this a game.  We’re out to truly serve the people of West Virginia.”

Puccio, a guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” said those with the Democratic Party do not recruit “theirs,” meaning Republicans.

With the switch from Ferns, the House numbers will stand at 53-47, with Democrats in charge, when the 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins Jan. 8.  The split in the state Senate is 24-10.

If he is nominated in May, Ferns could face current Ohio County Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons (D-1) in the 2014 November General Election.

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  • WhoAmI

    Obama was the best thing that ever happened to the West Virginia Republican Party.

  • steve


  • John

    The trouble with Ferns is that his rich daddy never told him no. Everytime he gets in trouble, DUI's or anything else, he calls daddy to get him out of it. Nothing but a spoiled rich brat! What a crybaby

  • Mark

    80 years of Democratic rule? I guess Underwood or Arch Moore never existed. WV learned their lesson with those two and know what would be in store if they voted Republicans into leadership again.

    • wvman75

      If that's the criteria, then after Obama, nobody should ever vote for a democrat for President again.

  • FungoJoe

    Larry Pinocchio is always good for a few laughs. When you examine the National Democratic Committee platform, and what it stands for, why would any sane person support it?
    Liberal Democrats stand for ObamaCare, BIG Government, higher taxes, over-regulation, repression against the US Constitution and our basic rights all the while granting these same rights to foreign nationals, wholesale abortion, no God in their platform, anti-christian values, severely reduced fossil fuel usage at a high cost to middle incomers.
    Most liberal Democrat policies hit the middle class the hardest, to pay for the freeloaders.

    • JimJim

      Is that a problem?

    • C. F. T.

      Well said, one additional thought. Do Not be deceived and elect Democrats who are candidates in upcoming elections (IE Tennant, Gainer, etc.) and WHO DID support Obama be modern day Judist and deny there allegiance to Obama.

  • Docbegone

    The Democrats are all supporters of Obama, "Obama Care" and Cap and Trade. They are against coal and use the citizens of this state as stepping stones to remain in power and further their socialist agenda. I hope the citizens vote overwhelmingly to defeat every democrat that is running in 2014. The Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic party of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

  • David Kennedy

    Pockets of Conservatism exist in many parts of the USA.
    Some entire areas are voting to succeed from their mother states and I cite those 5 counties in Colorado as a prime example.
    Wv has found it hard to toe the socialist line coming from Washington and is revolting within the system.
    Some of her elected citizens have done the soul searching and are making a party switch.
    I feel they are to be commended for following their inner feelings.
    The direction of the entire country is at stake. It's a trend of polarization and this cycle is taking place from one end of the country to the other.
    More politico's will follow.

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      Please correct your grammar and spelling, sir.

  • Mike

    Take a look at the results of 80+ years of Democrat rule in WV and I'm surprised there aren't more jumping off that sinking ship.

  • Dad2two

    Ferns was a goner had he run for reelection for the House. This is a way for him to stick it to the leaders of the democrats who told him where to stick it. Ferns has always been out for himself. He'll be DOA in the senate election next year. Those in touch with reality up here in the panhandle already know that.

  • Tim C

    I wish everyone would call it what it is. The Democratic Party has become a group whose quest for total control of this country is driving it toward communism (socialism for those of you who don't like the "c" word). If the rest of you blind sheep who blindly follow the democratic agenda don't wake up soon you too will find yourselves supporting the wrong side. The republicans sure ain't the answer to all our problems but the time has come for all of you pick a side. Do you believe in what our founding fathers created or do you want to be blindly lead by a party that has sold our very soul to the devil? The sooner you conservative democrats take back your party from the card carrying socialists the better off the country will be. You can start by sending Rahall home permanently next year.

    • richard

      You are full of crap. The republicans are the ones who follow the party line blindly. You are the radicals, right wingers. Trust me, I'm not saying the democrats don't have their fair share of radicals, but you people have been led around by the nose by sarah palin, Newt, Bush..........that you don't even know how to think for yourselves anymore. Both sides need to wise up and kick the radicals to the curb.

      • Tim C

        Richard........does your family and friends know you're this stupid? Anyone who doesn't want to be taxed to death is a "radical".....if we don't want the government running our healthcare .....we are "radical" ....if we support our constitution.....somehow that makes us " radical". You are uneducated about what is going on in the country. I would turn Msnbc off for a's frying what little brain you have left.

        • richard

          Blah, Blah, Blah..... I think you are the one who should turn FOX "news" off because you sound exactly like those talking heads on there. Another bit of news for you, fool. You right wing nuts are the ones who are uneducated. Go check it out on any poll on the subject -- the most uninformed group of voters in the country - Fox "news" watching right wing nuts.

          • WV commuter

            To PHD:

            None of the lame stream media. Red Eye Radio from midnight - 5am is a good listen.
            Also until Tom Daschle's son fired Quinn and Rose out of Pittsburgh ( from Clear Channel they had all the news that Rush and Sean would break about a week in advance.

          • PHD

            What news station do you suggest people to watch? CNN,ABC,CBS,NBC? All left wing Stations? You sir, are the one that's brainwashed over the liberal media.

          • WV commuter

            You mean the network where more than 80% of their employees give to Democrats and the owner (Murdoch) is a big Hillary supporter? No thanks! I will prefer the non-traditional media - those online and from overseas. Read what others say about the current regime. It would shock you and prove that ALL our media is hiding facts!

  • CaptainQ

    I'll call shenanigans on Larry Puccio right here and now on this! Saying he wants candidates that will 'choose one side," really?

    So if a bunch of GOP candidate decide to join the Democrats, Larry's going to tell'm to take a hike? Sure he will!

    Party switching works both ways and if the political pendulum in WV starts swinging back in the Democrat's direction, they'd welcome any and all GOP 'defectors' with open arms.

    It'll be fun to watch Larry eat his words in a few years when all the 'party switching' might be favoring HIS party again.

    • GregG

      I'll have to agree with you Captain. I don't understand why people can't open their eyes to the fact that neither party gives a rats behind about the voter. When you look through all the smoke and wade through all the BS, both parties are controlled by Big Business and Organized Religion.

  • The bookman

    West Virginia has always been a conservative state..but labor has kept it a Democrat Party state through most of our history...if you wanted to participate in the selection of those individuals who would serve to elected positions, the decision was often made in the primary, as many if not most offices were unopposed in the general by a you had to register Democrat to have your voice heard...that has changed, and many conservatives are now coming to recognize that the resurgence of a Republican Party that is more closely aligned with their conservative values offers them a real opportunity to participate without having to align themselves with the left...look at the voting record of those who have switched parties to see if what Puccio says is true... I think you'll find that Ferns and Jenkins have records that support a conservative agenda, and Puccio is just attempting to spin the fact that the Democrat Party is losing its stranglehold on the State of West Virginia!

    • Wirerowe

      I agree with your analysis bookman

  • wvman75

    He's a knothead. How many Republicans do you see switching to Democrat?

    These democrats are switching because they know the liberal agenda is bad for America and West Virginia.

    • Paul

      Some of these folks switching know they would get spend a lot of money and time being one of multiple candidates on the primary ballot and they are not willing to support the Democratic party nominee if it is not them. They have been voting republican in the past general elections cause its personal, not party philosophy.

      • richard

        That is all very true.

    • richard

      No, its because they see WV turning to the right and they only care about their political well being. They couldn't care less about what is best for the people. People like this have no political or moral compass. They blow like the wind. I would never vote for anyone like this because it goes to show you that they don't know or care what their true political beliefs are. I would vote for a hard right republican or a hard left democrat before I would ever vote for someone like this who changes party at the drop of a hat.

  • tw eagle

    West Virginians again , at least politically , are still behind the curve in the tide of voter
    movement . . .West Virginians , like the rest
    of the South , shunned the Republican (carpetbagger) party since the Reconstruction Era of the Civil War . . .the Democratic party , usually more liberal was
    a stanchion of right-wing conservancy in the
    South . . . Southern democrats were referred to as " Dixiecrats " - conservative to the bone . . .with voting rights in the sixties opening the voting booths to blacks , most of these blacks became Democrats . . . the ultra conservative South started shifting away from this influx into the democratic party in the early 80's .. . .West Virginians , a proud and very loyal constituency , have been slow to read the national trend in party politics . . .though the " Dixiecrats" in West Virginia still hold sway in the state , it might
    help if they realigned their affiliations to better match those of their brothers in the South . . .

  • 2XLPatriot

    I wouldn't identify with either party considering the ridiculous actions by both. Switching parties or sticking with one is self serving for any politician regardless of what rhetoric they spew to the voters. They are all crimminals.