Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced Monday that he may explore leaving the Democratic Party ahead of a contentious Senate reelection fight in 2024.
“I’ll have a look at everything. I’ve always looked into these things, but I have no plans to do anything right now,” Manchin said, according to the Hill.
Manchin left open the prospect of following Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-AZ) decision to quit the Democratic Party ahead of his race, but stated the choice will be made later.
“I can’t tell you what the future holds, whether I do something now or later. I can only tell you where I am and what my attitude is right now,” he stated.
Manchin is from West Virginia, which backed Donald Trump over Joe Biden by roughly 40 points.
Though Manchin did not say he would leave the Democratic Party immediately, he did say he admired Sinema’s decision to leave the Democrats and become an independent.
“I admire her choice and wish her the best,” Manchin said. “I would like to work with Kyrsten every day, just like I used to.”
Sinema stated last week that she was leaving the Democratic Party because she “never fit nicely into any party box.”
“I realize some people might be surprised by this, but I believe it makes a lot of sense,” Sinema explained. “I’ve never perfectly fit into any party box. I’ve never given it much thought. “I’m not going to.”
Throughout the 2021/2022 political cycle, Sinema fought against various Democratic priorities. She voted, for example, to end the national coronavirus emergency announced on March 13, 2020; to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) need of masks on aircraft, trains, and buses, and to safeguard the Senate filibuster.
Manchin has also spoken out against many of the same Democratic agendas. He is undoubtedly hoping that his resistance to some of Biden’s policies will help him win reelection.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) has already launched his candidacy for a Republican primary challenge to Manchin. Other possible challengers include Republican Governor Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R).