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Editorial: Manchin’s party switch throws uncertainty into general election

The Herald-Dispatch

Joe Manchin has taken what would have been a routine general election this November and added an element of uncertainty and speculation.

On Friday, Manchin changed his party affiliation from Democratic to independent. His move brought questions about what the next step in his long political career will be.

As noted by the Associated Press, “Manchin, 76, has often been at odds with the Democratic Party. But he played a central role in helping President Joe Biden get a landmark climate change and health care bill over the finish line in 2022. He says neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground and ‘to stay true to myself’ and ‘put country before party,’ he decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation.”

Manchin was elected governor in 2004 and reelected in 2008. He resigned that position in 2010 when he was elected to replace the late Robert C. Byrd in the U.S. Senate.

Last year, Manchin announced he would not run for another term in the Senate this year. Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, is considered to be the leading candidate for that seat at the moment. With his switch to independent, Manchin is free to acquire enough signatures to challenge Justice and Democratic candidate Glenn Elliott of Wheeling to retain that seat. Or he could file to run against Republican Patrick Morrisey and Democrat Steve Williams for governor. Or he may have something different in mind. Whatever his plans are, he’s not sharing them publicly yet.

Manchin knows that a large number of voters are disillusioned with the 21st century political system. It’s no secret, but at least he acknowledges it. Too often the choice of candidate is the lesser of two evils or else there’s not enough difference between candidates to get voters excited. 

Read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/opinion/editorial-manchins-party-switch-throws-uncertainty-into-general-election/article_9df16d85-ef78-518d-b7f2-783b35e6db96.html

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