West Virginia’s Democratic senator will not seek reelection in 2024.
Senator Joe Manchin will vacate a seat coveted by the Republicans in a state carried by President Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
Manchin announced on Nov. 9 that he would leave the seat he has held since 2010.
“I’ve never cared about where good ideas came from and I’ve never blamed one side for creating a problem nor believed that only one side can fix them,” said Manchin in a video statement released on X. “When America is at her best, we get things done by putting country before party, working across the aisle and finding common ground.”
The Democrat said his bipartisan approach has landed him in “hot water” but that the “fight to unite has been well worth it.”
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia,” Manchin said. “I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate, but what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”
“To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you,” he said.
Manchin went on to caution that the “growing divide between Democrats and Republicans is paralyzing Congress and worsening our nation’s problems.”
“The majority of Americans are just plain worn out,” he continued. “‘Our economy is not working for many Americans – from the rising cost of food and fuel and everything in between.”
Manchin also warned of the escalating border crisis, which he said allows illegal drugs to enter the country and kill Americans every day, as well as the increasing national debt, and the rising tensions on the geopolitical stage.
“I know our country isn’t as divided as Washington wants us to believe,” said the 76-year-old. “We share common values of family, freedom, democracy, dignity and belief that together we can overcome any challenge. We need to take back America and not let this divisive hatred further pull us apart.”
Prior to his time in the Senate, Manchin served as the governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010. He attended West Virginia University where he played football. Manchin worked in the coal industry in addition to working for his family’s store.
Three Republicans launched senatorial campaigns this year – current Governor Jim Justice, Congressman Alex Mooney, and optometrist Zane Lawhorn. Trump endorsed Justice on Oct. 18, describing the former Democrat as “Strong on the Border, our Great Military & Vets, CLEAN COAL & Energy Dominance, the Economy, Stopping Inflation, & Protecting our 2nd Amendment.”
So far, Marine Corps veteran Zachary Shrewsbury is the only Democrat campaigning for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.
“Make no mistake. West Virginia’s current delegation harms everyone in the United States with MAGA extremism,” Shrewsbury says in a statement on his exploratory committee website.
Manchin was one of 20 Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2024.
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