BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Opinions are mixed over the prospect of ‘Vexit,’ where disenchanted Virginia localities would join West Virginia.
The idea of Vexit was publicized at a joint press conference Tuesday with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
Falwell said Virginia Democrats have left a “nearly unrecognizable state in their wake,” calling them anti-life, anti-Second Amendment, anti-liberty, and more.
“I’m not surprised at this suggestion. In fact, I’ve received emails from folks in my district and surrounding districts who are suggesting that we take up West Virginia’s offer to be a part of West Virginia,” said Bob Davis, the District 6 representative of the Bedford County Board of Supervisors.
Davis said he does not want to see his locality leave Virginia, but that state leaders are leaving little choice with their proposals on things like abortion, gun control, and the minimum wage.
“If you’re going to do this, you’re not Virginia,” he said, referring to Richmond and northern Virginia.
Other Bedford County residents agree, including Gail Horst, who describes herself as pro-gun.
“If the county – as a whole – agrees, I would be 100% behind the county if they voted on it and they chose to do it. They have the right to,” she said.
Still others disagree.
“I think we should stay a state of Virginia,” said Bedford resident Taylor Bailey.
Virginia Tech Political Science Professor Dr. Karen Hult said, although some balk at the idea, it is allowed by the Constitution.
“If both state legislatures agree and Congress agrees, then counties can be moved across state lines and a new state can be formed,” she said.
Still, she doesn’t see it happening.
“I think, in fact, many people who live in a range of counties would step back and say ‘why don’t we try to make Virginia work, why don’t we see what happens in the next election?'” she said.
WFXR requested comment on Vexit from Congressmen Cline, Riggleman, and Griffith, but have not yet heard back.
Governor Northam’s office said “As always, Jerry Falwell’s words speak for themselves.”