Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) may abandon his party as he gears up for what could be a brutal 2024 campaign, either for the U.S. Senate or for the presidency.
Should Manchin decide to run for reelection, he faces an uphill battle. Current West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) recently announced that he would seek the seat currently held by Manchin.
Justice is a popular figure in West Virginia and recent polls show the governor leading Manchin.
Manchin served as West Virginia’s governor from 2005 to 2010.
“Make no mistake, I will win any race I enter,” he said following Justice’s announcement.
Machin recently spoke against what he called a “constant, daily routine of everyone’s against everybody and everybody’s fighting and arguing.”
Manchin cited his experience with the No Labels organization, which is seeking ballot access in every state for a potential third-party candidate.
He said that it was “the only game in town that wants to bring people together and get Democrats and Republicans working together.”
The senator often finds himself out of step with the remainder of the Democratic Party.
Manchin’s support was crucial to passing the Inflation Reduction Act last year. However, the senator has since complained that the Biden administration was undermining several key elements of the plan.
In March, Manchin wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the White House cut back on plans to expand oil and natural gas drilling, contrary to the text of the law.
He wrote that “unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and financial security.”
Manchin has also stepped up his criticism of President Joe Biden, stating that “it has been more than 78 days since President Biden last met with Speaker McCarthy,” he said.
The West Virginia Democrat said that this “signals a deficiency of leadership, and it must change.”
This week, Manchin announced a new bill, the Building American Energy Security Act, that would accelerate permitting processes for both traditional and alternative energy projects.
Manchin rips Biden official for ignoring federal law on energy production: ‘Tired of asking again and again' https://t.co/8jXLtpy7oA
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 2, 2023
The news also comes as Manchin’s campaign spent more than $50,000 on dining, including up to $7,000 per event.