Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will not run for reelection, the “moderate” Democrat announced on social media Thursday.
“To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you.”
CNN’s Manu Raju said Manchin told him, “When the time is right, the time is right.”
He said he will “fight to unite the middle”.
Instead, Mr. Manchin, who was likely to face a strong Republican challenger to keep his Senate seat in a deeply red state, said he would continue exploring whether there was an appetite in the country for a centrist third-party bid for the presidency. That prospect has alarmed many Democrats who fear such a run could doom President Biden’s chances of holding the White House.
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia,” Mr. Manchin said in a video news release. “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.”