West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) announced that he will not seek reelection in 2024, thus opening a congressional seat for a potential newcomer.
“I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia,” said Sen. Manchin.
“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, 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.”
The news of Sen. Manchin's upcoming retirement surely doesn't come as a shock to many lawmakers and voters, as the West Virginia senator has been somewhat of a wild card over the past few years.
For example, in October, Sen. Manchin defended New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez (D) after he refused to step down after being accused of bribery.
In a statement at what has been described as a closed-door luncheon, Sen. Menendez stated his intentions to continue his duties.
"I will continue to cast votes on behalf of the people of New Jersey as I have for 18 years. And I am sure when they need those votes, they’ll be looking for it, for me to catch those votes," said Sen. Menendez.
The New Jersey senator’s remarks received mixed reviews from his fellow democratic Congress members. However, Sen. Manchin took to the defense of Menendez’s speech.
“He just basically gave a very compassionate speech,” said Sen. Manchin.
Furthermore, the 76-year-old congressman has teased the idea of switching parties from Democrat to Independent, creating a new political party and even running against President Joe Biden (D) in 2024.
The state of West Virginia voted for Donald Trump (R) in the past two presidential elections, so many believe it will be an interesting race to see if a Democratic candidate will replace Sen. Manchin.