CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen.Joe Manchin said Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” that he’s thinking “seriously and solidly” about running for governor in 2020.
Talking about a possible return to the statehouse for a few months now, Manchin said he’ll ultimately base his decision on whether he can have success with the Republican-controlled legislature.
The West Virginia legislature is now controlled by the GOP, unlike when Manchin served as governor from 2005-2010. Manchin said he wants to make sure the state legislature carries a more bipartisan attitude than he is witnessing in Congress.
“How much of a change do they want to make? How much of a difference do they want to make in our state? It’s changed, sure, but I’ve always worked with everybody. Is it tribal? Is it as tribal here as it is in Washington? I’ve got to evaluate that,” Manchin said.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) April 23, 2019
Repeating an assertion from recent months, Manchin said his family would play a large role in the decision.
“We’ve just come off a grueling campaign. I need to sit down with them and determine if this is the path we want to take,” he said. “By this fall, with all of my family involved, I should be able to make a decision.”
Saying he foresees some good people running for governor, he said he believes experience is a key.
“It helped me immensely because I was able to understand the process upstairs. I was able to interact,” Manchin said.
Critical of Gov. Jim Justice in recent months, Manchin declined an opportunity Tuesday.
“I’m not criticizing him. Maybe Jim’s doing what he think he needs to do. I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him for some time and it’s a shame. We’re better than this,” Manchin said.
Manchin said he misses the “day-to-day action” of decision-making that faces the governor, something that’s lacking with Washington’s elected officials deferring to party leadership.