Joe Manchin Mulls Leaving Senate to Run for West Virginia Governor

June 13, 2019 Updated: June 13, 2019

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Va.), one of the most centrist U.S. Senators, said that he’s looking at leaving office to run for governor of West Virginia.

Manchin is part of a small group of Senators that sometimes votes with the opposing party.

He said that some supporters in his state want him to run for governor in 2020.

“I have people back home that want me to come back and run for governor. We’re looking at all the different plays. I want to make sure whatever time I have left in public service is productive,” he told The Hill.

Responding to a question about how productive he feels in the Senate, Manchin said: “not at all.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Va.) speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 19, 2018 in Washington. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

“I haven’t been happy since I’ve been here. I’ve always thought there was more we can do. It’s the greatest body in the world, so much good could be done,” he said.

Manchin was the governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010 but left in the middle of a second term to become a U.S. Senator. He won re-election in 2018 against President Donald Trump supporter Patrick Morrisey, the state’s Attorney General.

Another U.S. Senator told The Hill on condition of anonymity that Manchin has expressed frustration with the perceived lack of action taken in the Senate.

“He said, ‘I’m out of here.’ He was all pissed off and said, ‘I’m going to be out of here,’” the lawmaker said.

Manchin told the left-leaning Politico in April that he was mulling a bid for governor.

“I think about it every minute of every day. Now, thinking about it and doing it are two different things,” Manchin said. “I’ll make a decision this fall sometime. I don’t think there’s any hurry at all.”

Trump walks out of the Oval Office
President Donald Trump walks out of the Oval Office to speak with reporters at the White House on June 11, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchin has earned bipartisan support in West Virginia and has often sided with Trump on key issues, such as Supreme Court nominations, abortion, and the border wall.

Manchin, for instance, was the only Democrat to vote “yes” for Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He’s also regularly voted for other judicial nominees, helping Trump flip an appeals court in March.

“I’ve always felt that the executive should be able to put their team together, if the person’s qualified and has no background—a criminal background and has good experience level,” Manchin told CBS on June 2.

Manchin applauds Trump on abortion
Democratic women of the House of Representatives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) (C), remain seated as Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) stands and applauds in front of them during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in Washington on Feb. 5, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Manchin was seen standing and applauding when Trump condemned Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s call to allow infanticide as other Democrats glared at him.

“Late-term abortions are just horrific…totally just wrong,” Manchin said later.

“Late-term abortions, my goodness. It would have to be a dire medical situation,” he told the right-leaning Washington Examiner in an interview published on Feb. 10, nearly a week after the speech. He said the Virginia bill Northam proposed, and a bill passed in New York that was championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is “just totally unconscionable to me.”

“My goodness. Well, I could hear the boos a little bit, you know, I didn’t know if the boos were for the president or for me standing, I wasn’t sure,” he added. “But I could sure feel the daggers.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber