Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated Monday he will consider leaving the Democrat Party ahead of a heated 2024 Senate reelection bid.
“I’ll look at all of these things. I’ve always looked all [sic] these things but I have no intention of doing anything right now,” Manchin commented, according to the Hill.
Manchin left open the possibility he might follow Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-AZ) decision to leave the Democrat Party ahead of his election but said that decision will come in the future.
“Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future’s going to bring. I can only tell you where I am and my mindset” at the moment, he said.
Manchin hails from the state of West Virginia, which voted by nearly 40 points for Donald Trump over Joe Biden.
Though Manchin did not announce he would immediately leave the Democrat Party, he added that he respected Sinema’s decision to dump the Democrats and become an independent.
“I tremendously respect her decision and wish her the best,” Manchin said. “I want to work with Kyrsten everyday, the same as I have before.”
Last week, Sinema announced she left the Democrat Party because she “never fit neatly into any party box.”
“I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” Sinema said. “I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to.”
Sinema opposed several Democrat priorities throughout the 2021/2022 political cycle. For example, she voted to terminate the national coronavirus emergency declared on March 13, 2020; to terminate the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) requirement of masks on planes, trains, and buses; and to protect the Senate filibuster.
Manchin has also opposed many of the same Democrat priorities. He is likely hopeful his opposition to a few of Biden’s priorities will help him win his reelection campaign.
Manchin already has at least one Republican challenger, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who has declared for a GOP primary. Other potential challengers include Gov. Jim Justice (R) and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R).