Manchin insists he won't run for office but has 'never closed doors'

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Retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) — a longtime conservative Democrat who announced last week he is registering as an independent — reiterated Monday that he has no plans to run for office this cycle, but said he would not entirely rule out the prospect of a future bid for public office.

“I am not running,” Manchin said in an interview on West Virginia MetroNews’s “Talkline” about his plans in 2024.

On a future run, however, Manchin added, “I’ve never closed doors.”

“You don’t know what the political arena is going to have. You don’t know what’s going to happen in this toxic political world. So I’ve never shut down any options whatsoever,” Manchin said. “But I have no intentions of running for any political office, elected office.”

The retiring senator last week shot down speculation that he would enter the gubernatorial race in West Virginia and voiced support for Steve Williams, the Democratic nominee for the seat.

Manchin, who previously served for six years as West Virginia’s governor, was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in the deep-red state in 2010. Since then, Manchin bucked the party on numerous occasions before he officially left it last week.

Manchin had mentioned in the past that he was considered registering as an independent — a move that would theoretically open up ballot access free from party constraints. He suggested that’s not why he switched registrations.

“I’ve always been independent,” Manchin said in the interview. “You know, I’ve never been wedded to any party.”

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