Call it Rexit.
West Virginia Delegate S. Marshall Wilson (I-60) has left the West Virginia Republican Party. He will run for re-election in November 2020 as an independent. His district includes much of Berkeley County including Gerrardstown, Inwood, Bunker Hill and Back Creek Valley. Republicans are likely to put up Larry Faircloth. A Democrat has yet to enter the race.
Wilson appeared on Talk Radio WRNR’s Eastern Panhandle Talk with Rob Mario and David Welch this morning.
Wilson said his decision grew out the Berkeley County Republican Executive Committee’s decision to get rid of one of its members – Samson Wright – and the failure of West Virginia GOP chairwoman Melody Potter to take action.
“The members of the county executive committees are elected by the people who live in their magisterial districts. We the people are in charge of this country. We the people are the rulers. So when the people have spoken, nobody else has a right to do anything about it without at least going through a process that is open, that is clear, that the people have a right to speak in.”
“When Samson Wright and I were elected to the Berkeley County Republican Executive Committee, we were elected by the people of our magisterial districts. That is a sacred right of the people in this country to direct their government. Now I understand we’re talking about a political party and not the government itself. But this is a party that claims to uphold and defend those standards, those virtues, those principles of how we run our government. Well, if we’re going to do that we need to do it in our party as well.”
“Samson was voted off of the executive committee by the members of the executive committee while he was in the rest room – he wasn’t even in the room to defend himself. That action was directly contrary to those principles. Now of course Melody Potter was not there. That’s not the point. The point is when I contacted her and asked her to please address this issue, her response was – you need to learn how to get along with people.”
“I said — perhaps you might have a point. That’s not the first time I’ve heard it, but that doesn’t really address my question. My question is – is it acceptable with you for these people to decide to reverse the results of a duly conducted election? The people chose Samson Wright to represent them. And this small oligarchical group here in Martinsburg decided – we don’t we don’t really think that people know what they’re doing, we’re going to get rid of Samson.”
“The problem is that we have a senior leadership of the West Virginia GOP that is currently oligarchical, tyrannical and dictatorial in its manner and in its actions and that those those actions run directly counter to all of the principles that I stand for.”
Potter issued a statement saying she was disappointed in Wilson’s actions.
“Delegate Wilson’s actions are the latest in a long string of erratic and foolish behavior that he’s exhibited over the years,” she said. “His actions bring dishonor and discredit to his service in the House and betray the voters who thought they were electing a Republican when they voted for him.”