Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced on Thursday that he won't seek reelection in 2024.
Republicans are almost certain to win his seat, given the state's conservative bent.
He also teased a potential presidential bid, saying he plans to begin "traveling the country."
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced on Thursday that he will not run for reelection in 2024, all but handing his Senate seat to the Republican Party.
In a four-minute video, Manchin spoke proudly of his history of political involvement, saying that he believed he'd "accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia."
But he also teased a potential presidential bid, saying he plans to begin "traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together."
Manchin has long been seen as the only Democrat capable of winning statewide office in West Virginia, a rural state that was once a Democratic stronghold but has veered sharply towards the right in the past two decades.
In 2020, former President Donald Trump carried the state by nearly 39 points.
Without him on the ballot, Republicans are all but certain to win next year's Senate election in the state — and the GOP only needs to unseat one incumbent Democratic senator to retake the majority.
Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney are currently locked in a contentious primary election for the GOP nomination.
Since President Joe Biden took office, both Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have continually frustrated his party's ambitions, opposing both the original "Build Back Better" social spending and climate bill and attempts to alter the Senate's 60-vote "filibuster" rule.
At the same time, Manchin played a massive role in passing the Inflation Reduction Act, a climate-focused bill based on Build Back Better that's now a key part of Biden's environmental legacy.
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