Sen. Joe Manchin (D), of West Virginia, reportedly said he is now thinking seriously about becoming an independent before the 2024 election, when he will decide whether to compete for a fourth term in the Senate or launch a third-party presidential campaign.
Manchin, who earlier this year identified as an independent Democrat, said on Thursday that the Democratic brand has become toxic in the eyes of many voters.
“I’m thinking seriously. For me, I have to have peace of mind, basically. The brand has become so bad — the D brand and R brand. In West Virginia, the D brand because it’s [the] national brand. It’s not the Democrats in West Virginia, it’s the Democrats in Washington. ” Manchin said.
“You’ve heard me say a million times I’m not a Washington Democrat,” he continued.
Manchin made the remarks during an interview with West Virginia radio host Hoppy Kercheval.
When asked by the host whether he would serious consider becoming an independent, Manchin said the following:
“I would think very seriously about that.” he said.
“I’ve been thinking about that for quite some time. I haven’t made any decisions whatsoever on any of my political direction. I want to make sure that my voice is truly an independent voice. When I do speak, I want to be able to speak honestly about basically the extremes of the Democrat and Republican Party that’s harming our nation.” Manchin stated.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona revealed her decision to leave the Democratic Party and register as an Independent eight months prior to the senator’s flirtation with independence.
Manchin, though, stated on Thursday that he is not yet prepared to make a decision on his future with the Democratic Party.
Manchin claims he will decide at the end of the year whether to run for a fourth term in the Senate or to run for president as a third-party candidate supported by No Labels, a bipartisan centrist group that intends to raise $70 million to place an independent, third-party candidate on the presidential ballot in 2016.