CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the presidential election, four days after the race was called and despite no evidence yet from Republicans of widespread voter fraud.
“As far as acknowledging that the election is over, I do not do that,” said Justice, an ally of President Donald Trump.
He vowed to support Biden if legal challenges and any potential recounts do not change the outcome of the race call.
“If Joe Biden is truly our legally elected president of the United States, we should all celebrate and support him,” he said.
Justice spoke at his regularly scheduled coronavirus news briefing where officials decried the state shattering records for new cases. Biden’s transition team has formed a task force on fighting the pandemic and has doubled down on wearing masks and testing, two areas of common ground between the president-elect and the Republican governor.
Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.
West Virginia overwhelmingly backed Trump’s reelection bid with about 69% of the vote and elected about a dozen new state Republicans to office in the recent election. Justice was reelected for a second and final term with about 65% support.