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West Virginia GOP Will Wait Until 2026 To Close Primary to Unaffiliated Voters

By Steven Allen Adams, for The Intelligencer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia Republican Executive committee voted for an amended resolution to close the Republican primary to unaffiliated voters beginning in 2026, allowing unaffiliated voters to vote this May.

The committee also selected Dr. Matt Herridge, a Vienna businessman and finance chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, to succeed Chairwoman Elgine McArdle.

The committee gathered for their winter meeting on Saturday afternoon at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Charleston. The meeting had been scheduled for Jan. 20, but was delayed due to last week’s snowstorm.

Committee members voted 65-54 for the amended resolution to close future Republican primaries beginning in 2026 to independent and unaffiliated voters. The vote still allows independent and unaffiliated voters to participate in the upcoming GOP primary in May.

State Code 3-2-31 and 3-4A-20 allows political parties to determine whether unaffiliated voters can participate in primaries. Unaffiliated voters have been able to participate in Republican primary contests since 1986 and Democratic primaries since 2017.

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