Former Kanawha GOP leader: We want Justice to be a better Republican

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The former chairwoman of the Kanawha County Republican Party Executive Committee says Tuesday’s no-confidence resolution on Gov. Jim Justice was a necessary move by conservatives.

“We’re hoping that the governor will look at this and realize that, even though he has exhibited some random acts of Republicanism, he’s really not being the leader of the Republicans sitting in the governor’s office right now,” Carolyn Stricklin said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The executive committee voted 19-4 on the resolution, which targeted Justice for multiple political positions — including his opposition to charter schools and the Senate’s failed omnibus education bill — the committee members argued were against the state party’s platform. Three present voting members abstained.

Justice, who joined the Republican Party in August 2017 after being elected as a Democrat, kicked off his re-election campaign in January.

Stricklin said Justice’s most recent statements on charter schools and school choice contradicts the party’s platform, as his position on paycheck protection.

Yet Stricklin noted they are not looking for someone to challenge Justice for the party’s nomination; she said they instead want Justice to align himself better with Republican values.

“He has the opportunity, especially during this special session (on education), to do so,” she added.

Stricklen also said the Kanawha County GOP Executive Committee may not be the only county to pass such resolution.

“I believe this is the top of the iceberg based on conversations I’ve had with other people,” she said.

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