Manchin announces he's leaving Democratic Party to become independent

The senator from West Virginia announced in November that he would not seek reelection in 2024.
Sen. Joe Manchin speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.
Posted at 11:18 AM, May 31, 2024

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has left the Democratic Party and is now an independent.

Manchin, previously known for being a moderate Democrat who often criticized his party's more liberal policies, made his announcement Friday.

"To stay true to myself and remain committed to put country before party, I have decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation and continue to fight for America’s sensible majority," Manchin said.

The West Virginian added that "national politics are broken," noting both major parties are guilty of "partisan extremism."

"Throughout my days in elected office, I have always been proud of my commitment to common sense, bipartisanship and my desire to bring people together. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be," Manchin said.

The senator announced in November that he would not seek reelection in 2024. However, it's unclear whether his decision to leave the Democratic Party will cause him to have a change of heart.

If he doesn't run for reelection, there's speculation that Manchin could run for the governorship in West Virginia.