Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2024, but kept the door open to a potential run for the White House.
The lawmaker revealed his decision with a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, in which Manchin said he believed he “accomplished” what he set out to do for West Virginia.
“I’ve 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,” Manchin said in the video.
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. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
“But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there’s an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” he added.
With Manchin bowing out, Republicans could be well on their way to picking up a seat in the Senate — which is narrowly controlled by the Democrats.
Manchin faced a strong challenger in Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, who in a hypothetical face-off defeated the incumbent by 13 points, according to an Emerson College survey in early October. Justice still faces a GOP primary in which Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) is also running.
Over the past several months, Manchin has bemoaned the level of division across the United States that has left “common-sense” people “politically homeless.” In August, he said he would “think very seriously” about a break with the Democratic Party.
Manchin has hinted for a while that he was open to the idea of a third-party campaign for the White House in 2024. And there has been speculation that Manchin and former Republican Utah Governor John Huntsman could team up after they appeared together for a No Labels town hall in July.
No Labels released a statement on Thursday praising Manchin as a “great leader” in the Senate and ally. The group also said it is still “gathering input” for a possible “Unity” presidential ticket and plans to make a decision by early 2024.
Manchin has served in public office in West Virginia, including as governor, or represented the state in Congress dating back to the early 1980s.
“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,” he said in a post to X.