Senator Joe Manchin Rules Out Presidential Bid, Focusing on Unifying America

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared on Friday his decision not to pursue a presidential bid, dispelling persistent conjectures regarding his potential involvement in a third-party campaign.

“I will not be seeking a third-party run. I will not be involved in a presidential run,” Manchin affirmed during his address at West Virginia University, emphasizing his commitment to contributing to the selection of a unifying president for the nation.

The West Virginia senator, renowned for his moderate stance within the Democratic Party, had previously disclosed his intention not to seek reelection for his Senate seat, though he had refrained from definitively ruling out a presidential candidacy.

Speculation surrounding Manchin’s prospective bid had instilled apprehension among Democrats, who feared that his candidacy could siphon votes from President Biden and potentially disrupt the electoral landscape.

Manchin’s association with No Labels, an organization spearheading a ballot access initiative for an independent bid in November, had further fueled speculations. Confirmation of Manchin’s intentions was provided by his spokesperson Jon Kott prior to his official statement on Friday.

The national co-chairs of No Labels, including former Senator Joe Lieberman, Benjamin Chavis, and former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, expressed their acknowledgment of Manchin’s efforts to fortify the movement for a pragmatic majority in America. They disclosed ongoing discussions with various distinguished leaders regarding the prospect of forming a unity ticket.

“We are continuing to make great progress on our ballot access efforts and will announce in the coming weeks whether we will offer our line to a Unity ticket,” they stated.

Manchin, having served in the Senate since securing a special election victory in 2010 and subsequently winning reelection in 2012 and 2018, has wielded significant influence as a pivotal swing vote in the closely divided Senate, particularly during the Biden administration.

His decision against pursuing a third term in the Senate reflects the formidable challenge of navigating a reelection campaign in a predominantly conservative state amidst the backdrop of a presidential election year.