Manchin rules out bid for West Virginia governor, will stay in Senate

Image: Joe Manchin
Senator Joe Manchin, speaks during a confirmation hearing for David Bernhardt in Washington on March 28, 2019. Copyright Anna Moneymaker Bloomberg via Getty Images file
Copyright Anna Moneymaker Bloomberg via Getty Images file
By Allan Smith with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

The senator — and former governor of the state — was debating whether to challenge Republican Gov. Jim Justice in 2020.


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., won't seek another run at his state's governorship next year, he announced Tuesday.

"Our state is blessed with the resources and people to accomplish anything, and I am going to use every day I have left in the Senate to make sure West Virginians have that chance," Manchin said in a statement. "I am grateful to be a public servant from West Virginia, and I can't wait to continue fighting to make a difference as their United States Senator."

Manchin, who previously served as governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010, won re-election to the Senate last fall in a more than 3-point victory over state Attorney General Patrick Morrissey. Manchin was considering a gubernatorial bid against Republican Gov. Jim Justice.

Although West Virginia has a history of electing Democrats, Manchin's wins are a recent outlier in a state that President Donald Trump won in 2016 by more than 40 points over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I've had a lot of inquiries they want me to come back home," Manchin told CBS's "Face the Nation" in an interview last month. "I have people think that maybe I should stay."

A moderate who has sought to work with the president at times, Manchin often complains of the lack of progress in Congress and speaks fondly of his time as governor.

Justice, a billionaire businessman who ran for office as a Democrat before switching parties, has been a source of controversy during his term in office. His administration was served with a federal subpoena and Republican-controlled state committees approved "no confidence" resolutions against him, The Associated Press reported.

An August MetroNews Dominion Post West Virginia Poll showed that Manchin would defeat Justice in a hypothetical race. The poll showed Manchin winning 49 percent of respondents while Justice carried 39 percent. Another 12 percent said they were not sure who they would vote for.

Share this articleComments