West Virginia's governor is switching parties tonight at a rally with Trump

West Virginia's Democratic governor is leaving the Democratic party and joining the Republican party on Thursday.

The New York Times reported that Jim Justice, the Democratic former businessman, will join President Donald Trump at a rally tonight in Huntington, where he will announce that he is switching parties.

This isn't the first time Justice has jumped parties — he was a Republican until just before launching his run for governor in 2015.

RELATED: Coal mining in West Virginia and Appalachia

The governor has also made no secret of his affinity for Trump, or the president's agenda.

The coal-mining baron has referred to Trump as a family friend, and occasionally texts and hunts with Trump's son Eric Trump. During a campaign debate last year, he sparred with Republican candidate Bill Cole over who was personally closer to Trump.

Throughout his brief political career, Justice has kept his distance from both parties, vehemently denying that he supported Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama's agenda. But he also rejected the West Virginia Republican legislature's attempted budget cuts, instead proposing a budget with new revenue through tax increases.

The move makes Sen. Joe Manchin the last major Democratic Party leader in the state and leaves Democrats with just 15 governorships.

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