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Sitting U.S. Senator Quits Democratic Party, Citing 'Extremism'

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Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has long been a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, has bolted 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, who is not seeking re-election, wrote in a post on X.

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Manchin expanded upon that in a post on his website.

“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,” he wrote.

“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,” Manchin continued.

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“Today, our national politics are broken and neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground,” he wrote.

“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,” he wrote.

Manchin is the second Democratic senator to leave the party in the past two years. In December 2022, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who was elected as a Democrat, changed her party registration to an independent. During 2021 and 2022, when Democrats had a majority in both houses of Congress, Manchin emerged as a barrier to efforts to push through some pieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda, angering progressives.

Politico noted that as an independent, Manchin still has time to get on the November ballot for either his current Senate seat or to run for governor.

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A report by Axios said Manchin is being courted by Democrats to enter the race for governor.

If he does so, it sets up a familiar rematch. The GOP candidate, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, lost to Manchin in 2018 when Morrisey tried to unseat Manchin.

Manchin has not put a stop to rumors of a possible candidacy by ruling out running for governor, according to Fox News, but has said that Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, the Democratic nominee, is a friend of his.

Williams said he does not expect Manchin to enter the race, according 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,” Williams said.

However the outlet also reported, without naming its sources, that Manchin is being urged by moderate Republicans to enter the race.

State Republican Chairman Matt Herridge said he has seen no evidence of a groundswell to draft Manchin.

“Republican voters spoke loud and clear in selecting Patrick Morrisey as the nominee and the next Governor of West Virginia,” he said.


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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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