Joe Manchin Leaves the Democratic Party

( – After years of squabbling and butting heads with party members and party leadership, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has decided to leave the Democratic Party and register as an Independent.

In a statement released to the press, Manchin, a long-time moderate among the liberals in the legislature, explained that his decision was prompted by the broken nature of America’s largely two-party system that has seen neither progressives or conservatives “willing to compromise to find common ground.” The senator, who also blamed “partisan extremism” for “jeopardizing” democracy in the U.S., added that since he began his public service career in 1982, he had always maintained a “commitment to common sense [and] bipartisanship”.

“I have never seen America through a partisan lens,” Manchin stated.

As such, “I have decided to register as an independent,” West Virginia senator said, adding that he would “continue to fight for America’s sensible majority.”

Manchin’s office also said that the senator, who will not be running for re-election, will still largely be caucusing with the Democrats until his term expires. Manchin will also continue to serve as chairman of the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The West Virginia senator, however, is rumored as being encouraged to run for governor for the Mountain State, not by progressives but by certain members of the Republican party. The more moderate faction of conservatives – a number of them armed with significant “financial resources” – in West Virginia are reportedly dissatisfied with the party’s current nominee for governor, Patrick Morrisey, who currently serves as the state’s Attorney General. Manchin has remained largely mum on the issue, only saying that he is not completely ruling out the possibility of a gubernatorial run. However, he has also said that the current nominee by the Democrats, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, is a friend of his.

“Basically, I’ll just wait until I go home,” Manchin said of the possible run for governor. Should he also change his mind on running again for his seat in the Senate, Manchin has until August 1 to register his candidacy as an Independent.

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