By Lyra Bordelon
Greenbrier County Clerk Robin Loudermilk announced her switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party on Wednesday, August 26, as the numerical balance between the two shifts from Democrat to Republican in Greenbrier County.
“I’m going to switch my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican,” said Loudermilk. “It’s a decision that I’ve made, it’s been crossing my mind the last couple of years and I wanted to get it out there.”
She explained the decision was made in order to better reflect the people of Greenbrier County, who she serves.
“I’m switching because I’ve been watching the numbers of the Democrats decrease and the number of Republicans increase,” Loudermilk explained. “I come from both sides of the politic field – one set of grandparents were Democrats and one side was Republican. … Everything going on at the national level, it’s affecting the local elected officials. I’m voted in by the people and the majority of the people are going Republican. People everyday that are 84, 85-years-old, they’re turning Republican. That’s telling me something’s not right. Our new registrations are coming in everyday and young people are registering Republican.
According to Loudermilk, the Democrats had an approximate 4,000 registered voter advantage over Republicans. By 2016, that number was at 2,000. She expects Republicans to gain the majority by Thursday morning.
“It’s been dwindling down,” Loudermilk said. Today [Wednesday, August 26], at noon, there’s only 14 difference. It’s probably already over right now [Wednesday afternoon] because people that register online after a certain time, I don’t get those until in the morning. On Monday we had 133 voter registration changes. We had 60 some on Tuesday, then today we had 40. It’s constant.”
Although many of the changes are happening online, Loudermilk has also handled a number of in person changes as well.
“[The local] Democrats are just saying they’re not happy with the party anymore, the party is letting them down,” Loudermilk said. “They’re not beliving in the things that the Democrats are believing in. That’s what the older people are telling us.”
Hoping to be as transparent about it as possible, Loudermilk reached out to the Mountain Messenger, emphasizing that although her party might be different, she is not, and would continue to work just as hard in as the County Clerk.
“I work for the people, I’m voted in for the people,” Loudermilk explained. “I just would like the public to know I’m switching – I’m not keeping it a secret, I’m not hiding it, I’m not doing it behind anybody’s back. … I do work for the people and with me switching I’m no different than I was yesterday. It’s a personal decision that doesn’t affect my job one bit.”
Loudermilk wrote a letter to the public, seeking to explain her decision, which you can read below:
Today I am choosing to switch my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. This is a decision that has been troubling me for the last couple years as I watched the numbers of Democrats decrease and the number of Republicans increase. I come from both sides of political parties whereas one set of grandparents was Democrat and the other set were Republicans.
With everything going on at the National level it affects us local elected officials here in the Greenbrier County Courthouse and every other courthouse in the state of West Virginia. I am elected by the people to do a job and maintain the records and budget for the county and oversee the Election process. With that being said whatever I choose to be registered as should not have no effect on my job or any of the other local Elected officials. We should be voted on by the job we do and the person we are not by the political affiliation. We are here to serve all people of the county.
With my position as County Clerk being the chief Election officer, I do not treat anyone different because of their political choice. I value my job and feel I give 100% to make sure my office is run properly and by the state code. There are issues on both sides of the political field no matter what party you choose to register with. I have support from both Democrats and Republicans and appreciate that very much. My decision to switch is based on the majority of the citizens and when I have 84 and over aged people coming in or calling me to switch them from Democrat to Republican that I know have been Democrats since they were old enough to register to vote tells me a lot about what is going on in the country. People that age just don’t switch because it’s the thing to do.
The younger generation is also a big influence on my decision as well. We are seeing a big increase in the younger generation registering to vote.
So, with that being said I am no different from the person I was yesterday just a different political affiliation. I will continue to do the best job for you as your County Clerk and appreciate all the support each and everyone of you have given me in the past and hope to have your support in the future as I continue to be your Greenbrier County Clerk.