CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has told his colleagues he could leave the Senate and run for governor, according to a Thursday report from The Hill.
Alexander Bolton reported Manchin is unhappy with the lack of productivity in the Senate, noting the hostility and partisanship in Washington.
“I know there has been this chatter of him in the governor’s race, but I think that level of discontent is catching people by surprise,” Bolton said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Rumors around Manchin considering a gubernatorial bid have been swirling all year, with Manchin going as far as criticizing Gov. Jim Justice and stating West Virginia needs a “full-time governor.”
Bolton said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is confident Manchin will stay, but Bolton himself has doubts.
“Right before the Memorial Day recess — which was a few weeks ago and put me on the story — he said to some colleagues, ‘I may be out of here before the 116th Congress,'” Bolton said. “I think it was probably said in a fit of frustration. That was the end of a work period which was pretty dysfunctional.”
Bolton said Manchin seems likely to run, which concerns Democrats.
“If he goes, chances of them keeping that seat are really dicey,” he said.
Manchin won reelection to the Senate in November, and his senatorial term is set to expire in January 2025. Manchin defeated state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey by 3%, which came after President Donald Trump made multiple attempts to boost Morrisey.