STATE Sen. Evan Jenkins' switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party to run for Congress has caused a stir.
Angry Democrats have pegged him as an opportunistic turncoat, while Republican leaders are gleeful at having a viable candidate to potentially take on longtime incumbent Nick Rahall.
Party switching by politicians is nothing new.
Teddy Roosevelt left the Republicans and formed his own Bull Moose Party. Ronald Reagan was a Democrat until 1962. Hillary Clinton was a "Goldwater Girl" in 1964.
The late Sen. Arlen Specter left the GOP after 44 years and ran (unsuccessfully) as a Democrat. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg went from Democrat to Republican to Independent.
West Virginia has had party switchers as well. Some have been successful in politics afterward and some
have not. Jay Rockefeller was a New York Republican when in 1964 he came to Emmons, on the Kanawha Boone County line, to work for an anti-poverty program.
Two years later, Rockefeller changed his registration and ran as a Democrat for the House of Delegates in 1966.
Rockefeller went on to win elections for secretary of state, governor (twice) and U.S. Senate (five times).
Rush Holt Sr., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1934 as a Democrat. The Weston native took a conservative turn during his tenure and lost his re-election in 1940.
Holt went to the GOP in 1949 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1950 and governor in 1952.
Finally in 1954, Holt was elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican.
Mingo County attorney Spike Maynard ran on the Democratic ticket and served for years as a circuit judge in his home county.
In 1996, he was elected to the state Supreme Court. After losing his re-nomination in 2008, Maynard became a Republican and ran against Rahall.