WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin (D) will remain in the upper chamber and forgo a run for his old job as West Virginia governor, the senator announced on Tuesday.
“When considering whether to run for Governor, I couldn’t focus just on which job I enjoyed the most, but on where I could be the most effective for the Mountain State,” Manchin said in a statement.
He added: “Ultimately, I believe my role as U.S. Senator allows me to position our state for success for the rest of this century.”
Manchin, 72, has served in the Senate since 2010. Prior to that he served nearly six years as governor of the Mountain State.
Manchin is considered one of the few remaining conservative Democrats in national office.
Manchin is pro-Second Amendment. He is the only Democrat who voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
President Donald Trump won West Virginia by 42 points — a larger percentage than any other state except Wyoming.
For most of the 20th century, West Virginia was a Democratic stronghold. That begun to change in the late 1990s over social issues and the party’s stance against coal.
Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to carry the state in a presidential election.
Manchin is one of the most popular politicians in West Virginia.
TMN traveled to Martinsburg to cover Manchin’s 2018 campaign.