CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — A West Virginia Senator who represents the state’s 8th District has decided to change political parties.

Glenn Jeffries (WV Legislature)

According to a statement from Sen. Glenn Jeffries sent Thursday, he has filed to switch his party affiliation and join the Republican caucus. Jeffries was elected as a Democrat in 2016 to represent parts of Kanawha and Putnam counties and said he wanted to “work in a bipartisan way,” and he said he plans to continue to do so under his new party affiliation.

“Our politics have gotten so personal and difficult,” said Sen. Jeffries in his statement. “I want to make sure that I serve constituents and our state in a respectful, thoughtful way that leads to a better life for all West Virginians.” 

While Jeffries did not give a reason for the switch, a release from the West Virginia Democratic Party said that the switch was due to “discomfort with Democratic Party values.”

The WVDP also said it hopes that Jeffries will continue to promote climate and environmental justice in his new party and commended his prior work, calling him “an environmental justice champion.”

West Virginia Democratic Party Leader Mike Pushkin also said that he hopes that Jeffries chooses to condemn “dangerous and ill-advised actions” by former President Donald Trump.

Pushkin also referenced the recent dinner where Trump hosted rapper Kanye West, “Ye”, who reportedly brought controversial commentator Nick Fuentes. “For Senator Jeffries to claim he doesn’t like the direction of the Democratic Party, barely a week after his new party’s de facto leader had dinner with a Holocaust denying white supremacist, is like being called ugly by a frog,” said Pushkin.

The other representative for the 8th District, Sen. Richard Lindsay, is a Democrat.

“It’s great to hear that West Virginia State Senator Glenn Jeffries is joining the Republican Party. As the senior-elected leader of West Virginia’s Grand Old Party, Glenn will be a great addition to our ranks. He is a proven business leader and his ongoing work in attracting new employers and opportunities to West Virginia makes him a great fit in our Republican Party.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)