WASHINGTON (WOWK) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will not seek re-election to the Senate, according to a release from his office.
Manchin, who positions himself as a moderate who goes against the Democratic status quo, said he came to this after “months of deliberation” and talks with his family.
“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,” Sen. Manchin said.
He also said that the divide between Democrats and Republicans is worsening problems in the U.S.
The West Virginia U.S. Senate race is one to watch for. Manchin dropping out almost guarantees Republican control of the Senate.
According to a recent poll of voters by Emerson College, Gov. Jim Justice, who is running for that seat, would have beaten incumbent Manchin. If it were between Manchin and Rep. Alex Mooney (R), Manchin would have won, even though he is a Democrat in a deep-red state.
Fellow Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Governor and Republican challenger Jim Justice have released statements following Manchin’s announcement.
“Senator Joe Manchin and I have not always agreed on policy and politics, but we’re both lifelong West Virginians who love this state beyond belief, and I respect and thank him for his many years of public service,” said Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV).
“Thank you Joe and Gayle for your years of service to our beloved West Virginia. I’ve enjoyed serving alongside you — our senior senator. And as you said, we still have much work ahead of us. Thank you for your friendship, Joe. I look forward to that continuing,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
West Virginia Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin gave a snarky response following Manchin’s announcement, saying, “The West Virginia Democratic Party will work tirelessly to support and elect a Senator who shows up for work, pays his debts, and brings more to the US Senate than a cute dog.” Those three things refer to Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV).