West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin already has a 2024 challenger in West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, who announced on Tuesday that he would seek to topple embattled senator, who faces reelection in two years.
Speaking to MetroNews Talkline on Tuesday, Mooney said: "West Virginia values are at risk in this country. We’re bankrupting America. I want to be a part of the solution there... It’s been talked about a lot, but I’m going to announce. I’m announcing it right now that I’m running for the U.S. Senate."
Manchin narrowly won reelection in 2018 against West Virginia Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, triumphing in a state that heavily broke for former President Donald Trump just two years prior.
Yet the moderate Democratic senator took a nosedive in popularity following a botched deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in which he traded his pivotal vote on the Inflation Reduction Act in exchange for a separate bill to streamline the approval process for key infrastructure pipelines.
Though Manchin honored his end of the bargain and helped to pass the $740 billion spending package, Schumer was unable to secure enough support within his party to follow through with his promise. Intra-party opposition in the House and Senate on environmental grounds proved insurmountable; Manchin ultimately asked Schumer to drop the provision from the continuing budget resolution.
Mooney, who is projected to win reelection to his House seat, may encounter challengers for the Republican primary in the forms of a renewed Morrisey bid or a campaign from Republican Gov. Jim Justice, though no one else has yet announced a campaign.