“It is clear to me that the citizens of my district want a true Independent voice in Charleston.”
That is the statement from Delegate Rupert “Rupie” Phillips who filed paperwork with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office to change his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Phillips took the action on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, stating he did so after seeing the reaction to the Presidential Inauguration. According to a release from the communications director with the WV House of Delegates, this make Phillips the only Independent in the West Virginia Legislature.
“The people have also been more important than party affiliation to me, and I hope this action sends a message to everyone that the people of southern West Virginia want and deserve change,” said Del. Phillips.
Phillips represents the 24th Delegate District. It covers Logan county as well as parts of Wyoming and Boone Counties.
“I am an American first, a West Virginian second, and a proud resident of Logan County,” added Del. Phillips. “The ‘War on Coal’ has hurt nearly everyone I know. By becoming Independent, I know that it will put me in a better position to make sure the concerns of my district are hear. No matter what my party affiliation is I will always be pro-coal, pro-gun, pro-life and pro-jobs – unfortunately not many in the Democratic party share those views anymore.”
Phillips was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2010. He works in the coal industry, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a graduate of Man High School.