Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia has endorsed former President Donald Trump, who is currently campaigning for reelection in 2024.
“The leadership and success exhibited by President Trump could not be more different than what we see today under Joe Biden,” tweeted Justice, a coal mining executive, on July 24. “I support President Trump and firmly believe he will be our nominee and be re-elected as our next President.”
Trump and Justice have been openly supportive of one another since 2020, when Justice formally left the Democratic Party while appearing at a Trump rally in Huntington, West Virginia. Justice told the crowd he’d be changing his registration to Republican because he couldn’t help West Virginians “anymore being a Democrat governor,” per Time.
Trump, in turn, celebrated Justice at the event and told the crowd that their “agenda rises above left or right.”
After two terms as governor, Justice is now running for United States Senate – challenging current West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. A poll released in late May by East Carolina University Center for Survey Research indicated Justice led the incumbent Democrat by 22 points
“The ECU Poll also finds Governor Justice with a job approval rating of 57% (with an overall net positive job approval rating of +28 percentage points; 57% approval compared to 29% disapproval),” noted the researchers. “Senator Manchin, in contrast, holds a job approval rating of just 33% (with an overall net negative job approval rating of -26 percentage points; 33% approval compared to 59% disapproval).”
Trump has also been endorsed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
“When Donald Trump was president, America was soaring,” said McMaster at an event in Columbia on January 28, 2023. “And then we had an election and everything changed. Since then the people have seen the damage that can be done by an administration and leaders who do not believe in the goodness and greatness of America.”
“We are coming back stronger than before and in November 2024 we will reelect Donald Trump and we will see a burst of freedom and prosperity unlike any we have seen before,” said the governor. McMaster then turned to look at Trump, who was standing next to him on stage, and said, “We’ll follow you all the way.”
In addition to Justice and McMaster, ten US senators and 67 members of the House of Representatives have endorsed Trump. He has the most endorsements of any Republican presidential hopefuls.
Trump currently leads the 12 other Republicans seeking the party’s presidential nomination in the polls. Morning Consult reports that Trump leads the 59% of voter support, significantly more than Florida Governor and Ron DeSantis (16%), entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (8%), and former Vice President Mike Pence (6%). Trump has consistently polled at least 10 points above his challengers since he announced his campaign in December 2022.