WV GOP Gov. Jim Justice announces Senate bid to take down Democrat Joe Manchin

by Alex Caldwell

Photo: Alamy

West Virginia’s GOP Gov. Jim Justice declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate in an effort to flip Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat, which is considered to be one of the most opportune pickups for Republicans in 2024.

Justice kicked off his campaign at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on Thursday, promising that he would “advance the America First agenda” if elected.

Justice ran for governor in 2016 as a Democrat. However, he switched to the Republican Party the following year and received the endorsement of President Trump for his reelection bid in 2020, where he won in a landslide.

In his announcement posted to Twitter, Justice showcased his record as the governor who oversaw the lowest unemployment rate in state history, a budget surplus, and record tax cuts. He also vowed to keep stronger borders, law and order, energy jobs, and “radical woke policies out of our kids’ classrooms.”

Justice faces a primary challenge against Rep. Alex Mooney, whom he labeled as an “all talk, no action D.C. politician” in his announcement video. If Justice wins the primary, he may face off with two-term incumbent Sen. Manchin.

Manchin, however, may face his toughest battle yet if he runs. He is the second-most unpopular senator in the country, with a 38 percent approval rating according to an April poll by Morning Consult.

He has also voted with Joe Biden’s positions 87.9 percent of the time, despite portraying himself as a moderate in a state that President Trump won with nearly 70 percent of the vote during the 2020 presidential election.

Manchin has not announced plans for reelection. However, he boasted on Thursday that he “will win any race” he enters.

According to a February poll by Tarrance Group, Justice leads the senator by 10 points (52 percent to 42 percent).

It is also possible that Trump, who announced his candidacy for president last November, will help push Justice to victory, as the Republicans’ turnout is expected to be high during a presidential election year.

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