Sitting U.S. Senator Quits Democratic Party

Sitting U.S. Senator Quits Democratic Party

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, known for his opposition to the Democratic Party's progressive faction, has officially left the party.

"My commitment to do everything I can to bring our country together has led me to register as an independent with no party affiliation," Manchin wrote in a post on X, explaining his decision not to seek re-election.

He further elaborated on his website, saying, "From my first day in public service in 1982, I have always focused on doing what’s best for my state and my country, without regard to party or politics.

Throughout my days in elected office, I have always been proud of my commitment to common sense, bipartisanship and my desire to bring people together. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be. I have never seen America through a partisan lens."

Manchin continued, "However, since becoming a United States Senator in 2010, I have seen both the Democrat and Republican parties leave West Virginia and our country behind for partisan extremism while jeopardizing our democracy."

"Today, our national politics are broken and neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground," he added.

"To stay true to myself and remain committed to put country before party, I have decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation and continue to fight for America’s sensible majority," Manchin concluded.

This makes Manchin the second Democratic senator to leave the party in recent years. In December 2022, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona also changed her party affiliation to independent. During 2021 and 2022, Manchin was a key obstacle to some of President Joe Biden's legislative initiatives, frustrating progressives.

Politico highlighted that as an independent, Manchin still has the option to run for his current Senate seat or for governor in the November election.

According to Axios, Democrats are encouraging Manchin to run for governor. If he does, it would set up a rematch with state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who lost to Manchin in 2018.

Fox News reported that Manchin has not dismissed the possibility of a gubernatorial bid, although he acknowledged Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, the Democratic nominee, as a friend.

Williams expressed his belief that Manchin would not enter the race, stating to the West Virginia MetroNews Network, "Unless Joe Manchin is the most duplicitous person on the face of the earth, which I don’t believe he is because he’s been a friend for over 40 years now, I don’t see that these rumors have any legs."

Despite rumors, the outlet also mentioned that moderate Republicans are encouraging Manchin to run. However, State Republican Chairman Matt Herridge dismissed the idea, stating, "Republican voters spoke loud and clear in selecting Patrick Morrisey as the nominee and the next Governor of West Virginia."

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