West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) is eyeing Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Senate seat for 2024.
Manchin is projected to be one of the GOP’s top targets in its quest to take back control of the Senate in 2024. He is among a handful of Democratic senators elected in GOP-friendly states, including Montana and Ohio, that Republicans are plotting to flip.
Justice is the latest vocal challenger to Manchin after Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) announced he’d be running against the Democrat on Nov. 15. Several Republicans, including Mooney, believe Manchin is too liberal for the people he represents.
However, Justice is not officially in the running, he said — yet.
“I’m very seriously considering running for Senate,” Justice said at a Tuesday press briefing, per the Hill. “A lot of thinking and planning and everything and discussion ongoing with my family and lots of folks, but serious, serious consideration. You’ll know real soon.”
The residents of West Virginia are with him “in whatever decision I make,” Justice added.
“I’m sure they’ll be right with me, as they know without any question I’ll be right with them,” the governor said.
Republicans are lining up to take Manchin’s seat just weeks after the midterm elections, which are still not over with a Senate runoff in Georgia next month. Democrats secured the Senate majority at the end of the first week with wins in Arizona and Nevada.
Republicans hold the House majority with 220 seats over the Democrats’ 213, a narrower lead than many polls and analyses projected.
The red wave expected to sweep the nation missed its mark, as the GOP failed to win or flip key seats in gubernatorial, House, and Senate races across the country, particularly in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire.
Several GOP leaders blame former President Donald Trump for the losses, believing that his endorsed “bad candidates” were too extreme for voters and secured wins for the Democrats.