CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A labor official says he's asked Cabell County's Evan Jenkins to resign from the state Senate, after Jenkins switched his party registration from Democratic to Republican last year.
Tim Millne, president of the AFL-CIO's Southwestern District Labor Council in West Virginia, wrote the letter, dated Feb. 11.
Jenkins, elected as a Democrat to a four-year term in 2010, changed his voter registration on July 31 of last year. The same day, he announced he would run for the seat from the U.S. House 3rd District. That seat has been held by Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., since 1977.
Jenkins said Monday he hasn't received the letter.
Millne said he mailed his letter to Jenkins' post office box in Huntington and sent copies to the Gazette and the Herald-Dispatch in Huntington.
"I am respectfully following up with you about our recent meeting at your office," Millne wrote in the letter. "I voiced my concerns with you being elected as a Democrat for the 5th Senatorial District while you changed your party affiliation before the end of your term. This is not fair to the good Democrats of Cabell and Wayne counties.
"You have been caucusing with the Republicans and have adopted more of their views and positions than you have when you were a part of the Democratic Caucus," Millne wrote.
"While it is anyone's right to change their mind and choose not to support the Democrats any more, it is ethically wrong to sit in a seat where Democratic voters elected you to represent their values," he wrote. "I implore you to do the right thing. Please resign your seat at the Legislature immediately."
Jenkins said he had not "received [the] letter from Milne" and it "looks like it was just sent to [the] press."
After a reporter read the letter to him, Jenkins, who is also the executive director for the West Virginia State Medical Association, said in an email response, "Nick Rahall and his top supporters clearly believe that partisan loyalty to President Obama's agenda is more important than West Virginia's interests. I couldn't disagree more."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.