(USNewsMag.com) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, 72, a Republican, announced April 27 that he is running for the Senate seat currently held by Joe Manchin. The announcement was made on his birthday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, at a resort owned by Justice. Earlier in the day he filed a statement of organization for the Senate run with the Federal Election Commission.
Justice was first elected governor of West Virginia in 2016. In 2017 he switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. He was re-elected in 2020. After serving for two terms he cannot seek a third term. He is one of the state’s most popular politicians, who is often seen with his dog, Baby Dog.
Manchin, 75, has not yet announced if he will be running for reelection. Though his most recent campaign filings show he has $9.7 million cash on hand. Manchin, who has served three terms as senator, has said he will not be making a decision until closer to the end of 2023. Before being elected to the Senate, Machin served as the secretary of state as well as governor of West VIrginia.
Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, who is from Charles Town, West Virginia, has also announced he is running for Manchin’s Senate seat, setting up a primary challenge between Mooney and Justice.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he will run for governor in 2024.
The 2024 West Virginia Senate race is setting up to be one of the most watched races as Democrats hope to keep the seat and Republicans are hoping to gain the seat in a state won by former President Donald Trump in 2020 by 40 points. Manchin is the only Democrat elected statewide in West Virginia since Justice in 2016. In the 2024 election, there are 34 Senate seats up for grabs, with Democrats currently holding 23 of them. Democrats currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.
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