Shortly after a few members of the Democratic Party announced their departure to new political affiliation, moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., revealed that he will not be leaving the party — for now.
‘I’ll look at all of these things. I’ve always looked at all those things, but I have no intention of doing anything right now. Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future is going to bring,’ Manchin told a CNN reporter on Monday.
Manchin went on to support Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., in her recent exit from the party. ‘I tremendously respect her decision and wish her the best,’ the West Virginia senator said. ‘I want to work with Kyrsten every day, the same as I have before.’
‘I’m not a Washington Democrat, I don’t know what to tell you,’ Manchin told reporters on Monday. ‘But I have a lot of friends who aren’t Washington Republicans, and if a Washington independent is, as I said, more comfortable, you know, we’ll see what happens there, we’ll have to look.’
After disagreements over President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda in October 2021, Manchin made comments threatening to leave the party.
‘I said, me being a moderate centrist Democrat, if that causes you a problem, let me know, and I’d switch to be an independent. But I’d still be caucusing with Democrats,’ Manchin asserted.
The West Virginia senator is up for re-election in 2024, but has not announced if he will seek another term in the red state.
The question was raised to Manchin just days after Sinema announced her decision to leave the Democratic Party and register as an independent.
Sinema’s sudden departure sparked speculation that Manchin may be considering the same exit, after the two moderate senators worked together to oppose the Democrats attempt to reform the filibuster.
Over the past several weeks, three elected Democrats left the party to register as either a Republican or an independent, including Arizona’s Sinema, West Virginia state Sen. Glenn Jeffries and New York City Councilman Ari Kagan.