MARTINSBURG, WV (WDBJ7) - UPDATE: Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is encouraging Virginia counties to consider leaving the Commonwealth. And West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says his state is waiting with open arms.
WDBJ7 photo from news conference between Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. (L) and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R)
Falwell and Justice appeared together at a news conference in Martinsburg, West Virginia Tuesday afternoon.
They said historic precedent at the time Kentucky and West Virginia were created suggests more Virginia counties could leave the Commonwealth.
"If you're not truly happy where you are," Justice said during the news conference, "we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere else you may be."
"While there will likely be a robust debate about how cities and counties could leave their home state of Virginia, one thing is absolutely certain," Falwell said. "Many counties are taking a long, hard look at escaping the barbaric, totalitarian and corrupt Democratic regime in Richmond that is trampling on individual rights in the state."
Falwell cited a number of issues, including abortion, gun rights, environmental regulations and a budget proposal that would eliminate tuition assistance for students in online programs at private colleges, including Liberty University.
Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Governor Ralph Northam offered a brief response:
"Sounds like it's an election year in West Virginia."
And, "As always, Jerry Falwell's words speak for themselves."
ORIGINAL STORY: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. held a news conference Tuesday afternoon, speaking about the positives of West Virginia, and inviting anyone from Virginia who wants to relocate to do so.
The appearance to announce a movement dubbed "Vexit" was at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in West Virginia.
Falwell said Democratic policies introduced into the Virginia General Assembly have the potential to move Virginia too far to the left, including with gun control and relaxed abortion regulations.
Justice said whole counties or anyone from Virginia who feels the same way is welcome to move to West Virginia, a state he says supports the policies of President Trump wholeheartedly. He said anyone who wants to make West Virginia home won't regret it.
He said West VIrginia fully supports the Second Amendment and the unborn, and has plenty of resources and faith-based people.
Justice said a long time ago the infringement of fundamental values is really what created the beginnings of West Virginia, and the government of Virginia was probably out of step.
The West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate have already introduced resolutions inviting parts of Virginia to join West Virginia.
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