Sen. Joe Manchin Officially Ditches The Democrats

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Joe Manchin
Photo Credit: Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a longtime Democrat, officially registered as an independent on Friday.


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“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 he tweeted on Friday.

In November, Manchin announced that he would not seek reelection in the upcoming election, concluding his tenure in the Senate, which began in 2010, when he won a special election to win the seat that had become vacant after Democrat Robert Byrd’s death.

Prior to his time in Congress, he was West Virginia’s governor from 2005 to 2010.

“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,” Manchin stated on Friday. “It’s who I will always be.”

On Wednesday, he hinted that he would not run for governor this year, dismissing speculation about his potential candidacy for the role.

In his Friday statement, Manchin criticized the partisanship on both sides, arguing that it has endangered democracy. He noted that American national politics are dysfunctional, with neither side willing to compromise.

“To stay true to myself and remain committed to putting country before party, I have decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation and continue to fight for America’s sensible majority,” he said.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will apparently continue to caucus with Democrats and keep his chairmanship, according to Politico.

Manchin did not disclose his plans after his current term ends. In March, he mentioned that running for the Senate again was a “long shot,” after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly approached him about running as an independent.

“I think that’s a long, long, long-shot scenario,” Manchin said according to CNN. “So I don’t anticipate that happening. I don’t anticipate running.”

When he was asked if there was no chance of running for reelection, he remarked, “I don’t know if anything in Washington, DC, is 100%.”

The deadline for independent candidates to register for this year’s elections in West Virginia is August 1.

West Virginia Democrats were note looped into the Manchin’s decision, and are reportedly disappointed by it.

“While the senator has been one of the most independent senators in the country, and has sometimes opposed the Democratic agenda, we’ll always be grateful for his votes to impeach President Trump, to create the January 6th Commission, and his warning that, if re-elected, Trump ‘will destroy democracy in America,’” Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin remarked.


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