Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, long rumored to be considering retiring from the Senate, announced on Thursday he won’t see another term next year.
The West Virginia Democrat managed to get elected in a deep red state, but he would have faced off against current Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat-turned-Republican who is popular in the state.
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia. I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate,” Manchin, 76, said in a statement.
“But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” he added.
Manchin has also been reportedly mulling a presidential run as a candidate for the group No Labels, a centrist political organization that appears to be gaining some momentum in an attempt to get on the ballot in all 50 states before next year’s presidential election.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
“To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you,” Manchin, a former West Virginia governor himself, concluded.
He went on to lament the “divide” between Democrats and Republicans across the country, and that Americans were “just plain worn out” by the partisanship. He argued that Americans shared common values of “family, freedom, democracy, dignity and a belief that together we can overcome any challenge.”
“May God bless America, the great state of West Virginia, and each and every one of you,” he concluded.
Manchin was ranked by one nonpartisan organization as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate.