Senate Republicans are planning to target Sen. Joe Manchin’s West Virginia seat in the 2024 elections, The Hill reports.
Fresh off a disappointing midterm that saw Republicans fail to regain the Senate majority, Republicans are already lashing out at Manchin for backing President Joe Biden’s infrastructure, tax reform, prescription drug reform and climate funding.
“Sen. Manchin deeply disappointed West Virginians and let them down tremendously when he supported the ‘Build Back Broke’ bill last summer. That legislation really hit our state very hard. You can dress up the pig anyway you want but most people in West Virginia understand that that bill is going to hurt us,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who may challenge Manchin, told The Hill.
“He let the air out of his balloon and it’s not going to be so easy to pump it back up,” he said.
Morrisey added that he is “evaluating options” and “looking closely at the Senate race.”
Morrisey previously lost his bid against Manchin in 2018 by just 19,000 votes.
Republican Rep. Alex Mooney on Tuesday announced that he will run for the Republican nomination in the race.
Mooney ahead of the midterms called Manchin “out-of-touch” and said the West Virginia Democratic Party is “nearly obliterated.”
“I don’t know how arrogant you have to be to think that as a Democrat U.S. senator, you can instruct Republicans who vote in primaries how to vote,” he said.
Mooney during his re-election bid launched an ad targeting Manchin.
“Suddenly, Joe Manchin is backing Joe Biden’s liberal agenda. Manchin is supporting legislation that will raise our taxes, tax our coal industry and devastate West Virginia communities,” the ad said. “Alex Mooney won’t let Joe Manchin and Joe Biden destroy our coal industry and devastate West Virginia.”
“A robust democratic process has never been more important to our country and Senator Manchin encourages every candidate who values public service to enter the race,” Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon told the AP.
The state Democratic Party touted Manchin’s vote to secure infrastructure funding for West Virginia.
“Thanks to Senator Manchin’s leadership West Virginia didn’t lose out on this once-in-a-generation investment in our future,” state Democratic Party Chairman Del. Mike Pushkin said in a statement. “Unlike Senator Manchin, Congressman Mooney can’t point to a single legislative accomplishment for his years in Congress.”