From the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, W.Va.:
For most of this year, Joe Manchin effectively prevented any other prominent Democrat from announcing his or her intentions to run for statewide office. As long as Manchin toyed with the idea of running for governor, no one else would jump into that ring.
And, not knowing who will run for governor, activity on the other statewide offices such as attorney general and secretary of state was quiet, too.
On Tuesday, Manchin said he would not run for governor next year. He will honor the remaining five years on his term in the U.S. Senate.
That probably means other candidates’ plans will fall into place as we see who else wants to challenge Stephen Smith, the only announced Democratic candidate so far. We might also see movement on the Republican side, where few people probably wanted to challenge both incumbent Gov. Jim Justice in the Republican primary and Manchin in the general election. …