Senator Manchin Facing Pressure to Run for Governor

 May 30, 2024

Democrats are now in big trouble in West Virginia. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has decided not to run for re-election, and the candidate who won the Democratic primary for governor is not generating much interest.

That being the case, Democrats are now pressuring Manchin to run.

Talking Points…
- Manchin declines to run
- Dems panicking
- Analysis

Manchin Declines to Run for Re-election

Joe Manchin has been a fixture in the Senate from Democrats as one of the more high-profile moderates, or at least that is how he tries to portray himself. Manchin is known for pushing back, but most people do not realize that Manchin usually gives in and votes with Democrats. I have no problem calling him a fraud on that front.

Since Biden has taken office, Manchin has challenged Biden on several pieces of legislation, but again, when push came to shove, Manchin allowed Democrats to use reconciliation to push through some major spending bills. His challenges, however, drew the ire of the party, which eventually led to Manchin deciding that he no longer wanted to remain in the Senate. So, in November, Manchin announced that he would not be running for office, stating:

"After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia. 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.”

Dems Panicking as Nominee Fails to Generate Interest

With Justice being term-limited as governor, he was looking to move on, and with Manchin stepping down from the Senate, this seemed like a great opportunity for Democrats.

Democrats surely thought this would allow them to take back the governor’s mansion, but that is not the case. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams is not drawing the interest that Dems had hoped. Republican Patrick Morrisey almost drew as many votes in a crowded primary as Wiliams did in his uncontested race. This has led to calls for Manchin to step in and run, with local news now reporting:

"The talk about the possibility of Joe Manchin running for West Virginia governor again is real."

However, because of how late it is in the race, Manchin would have to leave the Democrat Party to run for office. And he only has until June 1 to decide to meet the filing deadline. While all this is going on behind the scenes, the West Virginia Democrat Party is trying to put on a strong face, claiming that they have their horse, choosing to focus on the people who did not vote for Justice over those who did. For instance, the West Virginia Democrat Party chair, Mike Pushkin, stated:

"Over two-thirds of Republicans voted for somebody else.

"Sen. Manchin isn't running. We have a nominee who is Mayor Steve Williams and I think when some of our Republican friends and independent friends take a look at Williams' record, there will be a lot to support.”


I have zero doubt the GOP will unite behind Justice in this race, but if Machin ran as a Democrat, it would likely flip this race. However, since it appears that Manchin cannot run as a Democrat unless Williams cedes his spot to Manchin, the only thing an independent run would do for Manchin is split the Democratic vote and ensure that Justice wins the election.

I don’t see Manchin playing spoiler here, so we really have to wait and see how the Democrat Party reacts to this over the next few days until that June 1 deadline passes. I know Manchin wants higher office again, but I don’t see him going this route. The important thing for me is the sheer state of panic that Democrats appear to be in right now, as they are just bleeding support all around the country in states they used to have locked up. My belief is that Manchin will stay out of the race and hold out until the 2028 presidential election, where he will run as a Democrat on a unifying platform, possibly even going so far as to name a moderate Republican as his VP.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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