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Joe Manchin Gets a GOP Challenger for His West Virginia Senate Seat

In an effort to topple Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., declared on Tuesday that he will run for the Senate in 2024. Mooney stated in a radio interview with MetroNews Talkline on Tuesday morning that “West Virginia values are at peril in this country. We’re bankrupting America. I want to be a part of the answer there.”

Mooney replied, “I’m going to announce. I’m declaring right now that I’m running for the U.S. Senate. It’s been spoken about a lot. I’m totally in. Manchin had his toughest opponent in 2018 when he won by just 3%, and as West Virginia turns more Republican, Mooney might mount a strong campaign. In the last two years, the centrist Democrat has come under fire from other members of his party for casting the deciding vote in the 50-50 Senate.

When Mooney took office in 2015, he made history by becoming the first Hispanic congressman to represent West Virginia. He formerly served as the Maryland Republican Party’s chair, when he was elected to represent the western district.

When Manchin declared he would not support Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, which required his support to pass in the Senate, he attracted widespread attention. With his vote, the bill morphed into the Inflation Reduction Act, and he continued talks with the White House as it did.

Manchin’s spokesman, Sam Runyon, stated that the senator welcomes any opponents. Runyon stated to Fox News Digital that “a strong democratic process has never been more crucial to our country” and that “Sen. Manchin welcomes every candidate who values public service to enter the race.”

I’ve always opposed in every race I’ve ever been in, so with that, I encourage folks to get part in the process, Manchin said in an exclusive interview with Fox News later on Tuesday. Manchin refused to fully commit to running as a Democrat and claimed he hasn’t decided whether or not to seek reelection in 2024.

When asked if there was a chance he may run as a Republican, Manchin responded, “Those things have never crept into my head. It honestly hasn’t.” The senator continued, “How can I help defend and protect the Constitution” is his primary concern.

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As Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer applauds, President Biden hands Sen. Joe Manchin the pen he used to sign the Inflation Reduction Act. Despite efforts from his party to repeal the almost five-decade-old policy, Manchin, who identifies as pro-life, voted to maintain the Hyde Amendment, which forbids using federal funds to finance abortions. Manchin, meanwhile, expressed disappointment with the repeal of Roe v. Wade and indicated he would support codifying abortion rights.

In recent election cycles, West Virginia has evolved into a Republican bastion. Democratic support has continuously decreased; Al Gore won the state with 46% of the vote in 2000, but Biden only received 30% in 2020. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican who received 70% of the vote in 2020, is the other senator representing the state. Since 1958, West Virginia has not had two Republican senators.

Jim Justice, the governor of West Virginia, who went from being a Democrat to a Republican, suggested in September that he would run for the Senate in 2024. Manchin has not formally announced that he would seek re-election.

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