CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was one of several Democratic senators to vote against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to become Senate minority leader beginning when the 114th Congress convenes in January.
Democrats lost control of the Senate in last week’s election, partly because Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito won the West Virginia seat being vacated by the retiring Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. Democrats also lost control of the West Virginia Legislature, and Manchin and other state Democratic leaders have blamed that loss on the policies of the Obama administration and other national Democrats, like Reid.
Most Democratic senators voted for Reid to continue as their leader in a party caucus Thursday. The senators did not have the chance to vote for any other candidate.
After Thursday’s vote, Manchin released a statement in which he said, “Today, I cast my vote against the current Democrat leadership because the people of West Virginia spoke loud and clear in last week’s elections for change.
“They voted for members of both parties to put aside partisan politics and start working together to vote on issues that are important to West Virginians and the American people.
“Unfortunately, we were not granted that opportunity and I refused to vote for the status quo…