Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, one of the more vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2024, could have another potential opponent.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Tuesday he was “very seriously considering running for the Senate,” joining several other politicians who are also considering running for the Republican nomination for Manchin’s seat.
“I haven’t made a final decision yet, you know, but I promise you, no matter what I do, I will be your governor for the next two years,” Justice said during a news conference on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to sit and just hang out. I don’t believe in that. I will be your governor,” Justice said. “I truly believe that the people of the great state of West Virginia are with me in every decision I make. I am sure they will be right about me because they know without a doubt that I will be right about them.”
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Justice said he is “seriously and seriously considering” the possibility of a Senate nomination and is discussing it with family and friends. “You’ll know soon enough,” he added.
Manchin got its first challenger in 2024 a week after the 2022 midterm election — in which Democrats secured their razor-thin Senate majority and could potentially extend it if Sen. Raphael Warnock wins his Georgia runoff.
Rep. Alex Mooney, RW.Va. announced Nov. 15 that he would seek the GOP nomination for the seat.
“West Virginia values are at risk in this country. We’re ruining America. I want to be part of the solution there,” Mooney said in a radio interview on MetroNews Talkline.
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Another potential challenger to Manchin is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who wrote to supporters last week telling supporters that he was considering a possible run for the US Senate or for West Virginia governor.
“I wanted to make many of my supporters aware that I’m going through a process. I’m seriously considering running for US Senate and Governor,” Morrisey told Fox News Digital. “We’re going to take our time, we’re going to listen to people, and we’re going to get this right … We have the strongest record of conservative achievement of any prospective candidate in West Virginia, and I feel good about it.” I just wanted to make sure many of our supporters are reminded of that fact after the election.”
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Manchin is one of the most moderate Democratic congressmen, representing a state that former President Trump won by 39 points in 2020’s main challenge from the left.
He has drawn the ire of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, particularly the far-left House of Representatives “Squad,” for blocking parts of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. But Manchin was instrumental in negotiating the Inflation Reduction Act — a sweeping climate and tax bill that Biden signed into law this fall.
Although he has not announced that he will seek re-election in 2024, Manchin said potential opponents for the Senate seat will not influence his decision to run again.
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“I haven’t made a full decision yet,” Manchin told Fox News’ Kelly Phares.
“But the bottom line is I’ve always intended whenever I make a decision it’s never based on who’s going against me or who’s likely to go against me or who announces they’re against me. I never made a decision based on resistance,” he said.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.