West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Announces He Won't Run For Governor

The centrist Democrat held the governorship from 2005 to 2010 and had previously said he was unhappy in his role as senator.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) answers questions at the U.S. Capitol on July 9.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) answers questions at the U.S. Capitol on July 9.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will not run for governor of West Virginia, a spokesperson announced Tuesday.

Manchin previously held the governorship from 2005 to 2010.

In a written statement, Manchin said he can better wield his influence from the Senate than from the governor’s mansion.

“The Senate, as envisioned by our Founders, is the greatest deliberative body in the world,” he said. “And, when it is at its best, Senators can transform the lives of people across America for the better.”

He said continuing in his role as senator will allow him to position West Virginia for success “for the rest of the century.”

The senator, a known centrist who has earned the ire of progressive Democrats by siding with Republicans in confirming conservative Cabinet officials and Supreme Court justices during the Trump administration, had recently suggested he might be interested in returning to his role as governor.

“I have people back home that want me to come back and run for governor,” Manchin told The Hill in June.

He added that he has not been happy since arriving in the Senate in 2010, and said he wants to “make sure whatever time I have left in public service is productive.”

In addition to the gubernatorial race, West Virginia is scheduled to hold an election in 2020 for the seat of the state’s Republican senator, Shelley Moore Capito.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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