WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during an event with the Economic Club of Washington at the Capitol Hilton Hotel October 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin took questions about the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Biden administration's Build Back Better Act and his policy priorities. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Specifically, longtime holdout Manchin’s move may let him seek governorship after rebuffing Democrats’ pressure not to run for it or Senate again this year after saying he will not seek re-election as a Democrat.

Joe Manchin, a senator of West Virginia and a Democrat for the entire 33 years of his political career, announced on Friday that he was changing his party affiliation to independent, and people wondering if he might try for re-election to the Senate or for the governor’s seat this year.

“Because I don’t want to compromise myself, to remain loyal to the sensible majority of America, I have decided to become independent and not to belong to the party,” Manchin said this in a statement.

Manchin’s action was first noticed by others when popular and well-established West Virginia radio personality Hoppy Kercheval tweeted about it. It means that even though he has switched parties, Manchin will still be voting with the Democrats in the Senate, his office stated.

Manchin said last November that he won’t seek re-election in 2024, but his flip will revive debates over his intentions.

An independent candidate can only file to run at the county level during a definite period of the year; in West Virginia the time period is up to August 1 of the current year according to the secretary of state.

Manchin has served as the governor of west Virginia from 2005 to 2010, and later on, he won a seat in Senate in the special election in succession of the long time serving Senate Minority Leader, Robert C. Byrd, a democrat . Joe Manchin joined the Senate in 2010 and started a full term in 2012, he secured another term in 2018.

But in the race that pitted him against the republican state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Joe Manchin won by just twenty-one thousand, five hundred and twenty-five votes that is three percent as the West Virginia turned ruby red with the help of Donald Trump in the 2016 election. When focused on the year 2020 the candidate Donald Trump obtained as much as 69. Accounting to only 6 percent of the votes in West Virginia.

In the primary election that took place this month, Justice who has the support of Trump won the Republican candidacy to the Senate seat and was considered likely to defeat Manchin in the November poll. However, Manchin’s flip can disrupt that race if he would go for another term under the independent candidacy.

Perhaps a more believable strategy that Manchin may be having here is to try and get back his previous position of Governor – this is the race through which Manchin shall again be opposing the GOP nominee that is Morrisey but also the Democratic nominee in the person of Steve Williams, the Mayor of Huntington.

Manchin was until June 1 free to independently run for either office as West Virginia Code denies the secretary of state from certifying a candidate who registered to vote with a different party in the last 60 days of filing for the desired post.

Certainly, Manchin could not have been happier as perhaps the most conservative senator in the Senate Democratic Caucus, and almost relished the chance to thumb his nose at Presidents Obama and Biden like other party luminaries.

However, Manchin has supported Biden to secure win on the massive bills including the IRA and CHIPS and Science Act, the senator has, in the recent past, said negative things about the current president notably on energy policies.

Manchin, who presently chairs the Senate Energy committee, expressing his dismay on how the implementation of IRA, a climate change bill that Biden himself brokered with assistance from Manchin and which Manchin has been seen supporting, the Senate majority has been raging and last year the senator threatened to join Republicans to repeal this law.

And even in 2022, Manchin urged Biden to apologize ‘for calling for the closure of coal-fired power plants for clean energy’ referring to the remark as ‘completely beyond reality’.

During this election campaign, Manchin was reportedly seriously considering launching a third-party challenge to Biden which would have heavily wounded the incumbent democrat in the general elections against Trump. However, in February, the senator said that he would not engage in such a task.

Such thoughts, however, made the gubernatorial post’s occupant, Manchin, dismiss the third-party run and presidential run during a speech made by him. “I will be actively involved definitely in ensuring that we get a leader, a president who comprehends, who is passionate and is capable of uniting this nation.”

Kercheval, the distinguished radio host in West Virginia, expressed during his Friday radio show that the development is a crushing hit on democrats in the state but not unanticipated. “Manchin has been playing this independence for quite some time now, yet he is a democrat; he has however been acting like an independent individual in Washington for a while now.”

Kercheval said that given speculations that Manchin might drop out from the governorship race, the act of re-registering as an independent has the effect of keeping the options until 60 days later.

“I don’t think he will run for anything, he may not,” Kercheval continued, “But, everyone knows that Manchin tends to have a flip-flop on issues and this at least keeps it open ended.”

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