May 20, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Manchin plays coy on potential West Virginia governor bid

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) walks to the Senate Chambers on March 22, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) walks to the Senate Chambers on March 22, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) refused to close the door on a potential bid for West Virginia governor on Monday, breathing life into rumors that he is being courted to run.

Why it matters: Manchin will retire from the Senate next year, and it is unclear what the longtime lawmaker plans to do once he leaves Congress.

  • Manchin offered a coy "I don't know" when asked by reporters on Monday whether the door was closed on a campaign for governor in his home state.

Driving the news: Manchin is being courted by Republicans in the state to run for governor, West Virginia MetroNews reported on Monday.

  • Democrat Steve Williams, whom Manchin has endorsed, won the gubernatorial Democratic primary in the state last week.
  • Manchin said on Monday called Williams "our guy," but he said that he wasn't sure if "something's come up that I don't know about."
  • He added: "I think everything's the way it should be. Steve's running, he won the primary."

State of play: Republican Patrick Morrisey won a competitive GOP primary last week to become the party's nominee for governor. He is the favorite to win the seat in November.

  • The contentious Republican primary showed there was fractured support for Morrisey.
  • And Manchin is a unique political force in the state, having won the governor's mansion twice in 2004 and 2008 and holding the Senate seat for Democrats for over a decade.

Context: Williams, the mayor of Huntinton, West Virginia, told a local CBS station Monday that there is no truth to the rumor.

Go deeper