If one Democrat were to switch parties right now, Justice is probably the Democrat you'd guess. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has been targeted as a potential Senate seat to flip since before the 2016 election.
Responding to rumours that he was switching parties past year, Mr Manchin said: "I'm a born in the wool West Virginia Democrat".
Republicans control both houses of the West Virginia legislature. However, this move could indicate a bigger shift in the state.
"West Virginians have learned that they simply can't trust Jim Justice".
He is calling on prosecutors to instead investigate Hillary Clinton's e-mails President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of fueling the narrative of his campaign's contacts with Russian officials, calling it a "total fabrication" and a "hoax". He praised Trump's children, noting he's gone hunting with his sons, and said, like him, the president isn't a politician.
"Today I will tell you with lots of prayers and with lots of thinking", Justice told the crowd. This was, indeed, the place to do it: West Virginia handed Trump his largest margin over Clinton: 42%. While certainly noteworthy, Justice's party switching is nothing new.
In 2015, Justice changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat and announced his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor. We look forward to a new beginning as the governor now embraces the Republican Party. "He cares about us in West Virginia", Justice said of Trump, a fellow billionaire businessman.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said during the committee debate last week, "If it's in the public interest to investigate the Trump administration, it is most certainly in the public interest to investigate the real crimes by the real criminals". We hold members of our own party to an even higher standard. "These debts have only worsened under Justice's term as governor".
Trump has also singled out West Virginia as a state that will benefit from policy changes like his plan to end regulations that protect waterways from coal mining waste. Perhaps the Governor figures whatever downside developments from his flip will be offset by his ability to call the Oval Office when he wants something done for West Virginia.