FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The race for the US Senate seat in West Virginia, currently being held by Democrat Joe Manchin, could set the stage for other races, possibly for President of the United States.
Speaking on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Greg Noone, director of Fairmont State University’s national security and intelligence program and assistant professor of political science and law, said Republican Congressman Alex Mooney’s early announcement got the 2024 campaign clock going set .
Now Republicans, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner and Evan Jenkins, former Congressman and Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Jenkins was defeated by Morrisey in the May 2018 Senate primary.
“Mooney is smart when he’s trying to make a mark and explain that this is the seat he’s running for,” Noone said. “He wants to try to push Morrisey, Warner and maybe (Evan) Jenkins into the governor’s race, which is going to be in two years.”
In July 2022, the governor released a statement, citing a Morning Consult poll that ranked Justice as the fifth most popular leader in the country.
“To be among the most respected governors in America is a true honor. With all the historic achievements we’ve seen in West Virginia, especially over the past year, people are prouder than ever to be from this state. They walk around with their heads held high, and that’s what this survey proves,” Governor Justice said.
For Noone, Mooney is a solid candidate but would struggle to fight against a popular two-term governor.
“Mooney has the money and Trump supports him, but at the end of the day, Mooney is from Maryland,” Noone said. “I think going up against someone like Jim Justice, who’s so respected across the state I think it would be Jim Justice versus the underdog.”
No one believes that the “Jim Justice Factor” is arriving here bipartisanly and pushing incumbent US Senator Jor Manchin into the 2024 White House campaign. No one said the best option for the Democratic Party to win key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan might be a 2024 presidential nomination from Manchin.
“I think Joe Manchin can have an impact on the Democratic Party, he can pull the Democratic Party back into the center,” Noone said. “He can argue what Joe Biden argued a few years ago, which is that I’m eligible in November.”