Republicans expect West Virginia Gov. Justice to challenge Joe Manchin in 2024
Party bigwigs private expect Justice will refrain from announcing his candidacy until next month for fundraising reasons.
Republicans are increasingly optimistic that West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice may seek to challenge Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in 2024.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat representing a state that has backed Republicans for president in every election since 2000, may rank among the most vulnerable lawmakers on the left side of the aisle and the seat may be the GOP's best hope for a pickup in the 2024 Senate contests.
Party bigwigs private expect Justice will refrain from announcing his candidacy until next month for fundraising reasons, Politico reported. The outlet further pointed to the governor's various activities that may indicate a plan to seek the Senate seat, such as meet with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines, R-Mont., and ending the state legislative session early.
Manchin, for his part, has previously fought off strong Republican challengers, such as state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and has managed to keep the seat even as the state darkens red.
Manchin's GOP counterpart, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, indicated to Politico that Justice's resume and standing in the state would make him a formidable challenger to the moderate Democrat.
"It would change things," she said. "He has a huge approval rating, he just passed the biggest tax cut in state history. He’s got a lot of good things to talk about."
Should Justice enter the race, he would still need to secure the party nomination before taking on Manchin directly.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.