Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday boasted that “I will win any race I enter” ahead of an expected announcement that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) will be entering the race for Manchin’s seat.
“I am laser focused on doing the job West Virginians elected me to do – lowering healthcare costs, protecting Social Security and Medicare, shoring up American energy security and getting our fiscal house in order. But make no mistake, I will win any race I enter,” Manchin said in a statement.
Manchin is up for reelection in 2024, though he has stayed mum on whether he’ll run again. The senator has also encouraged speculation he could run for president in 2024.
The West Virginia Democrat’s statement comes as Justice is expected to formally launch a Senate campaign later on Thursday. The governor filed the necessary paperwork Thursday morning.
Manchin is among three Democratic incumbents situated in states that former President Trump won in 2020, and the West Virginia Senate race is expected to be one of the most closely watched elections for the upper chamber.
Justice’s expected entry into the race would make him the third Republican seeking the GOP Senate nomination. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) announced a Senate bid shortly after the November midterms while Chris Rose, a Trump-aligned fourth generation coal miner, has also announced his own bid.
Politicos will be watching whether the Senate GOP campaign arm wades into the Republican primary between Mooney and Justice.
The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), released polling in February suggesting that Justice was best positioned to take on Manchin should he run again.