Jack Walker Published

Manchin Endorses Wheeling Mayor For US Senate Primary

A man in a suit and tie smiles, looking directly into the camera.
Glenn Elliott, mayor of Wheeling, was endorsed by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in West Virginia's Democratic primary election for the United States Senate.
Elliott For West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has endorsed a potential successor in the race for his United States Senate seat.

Manchin released a video Monday announcing his support for Glenn Elliott, the current mayor of Wheeling, in West Virginia’s May 14 Democratic primary election.

“He has the determination, the vigor and vitality to do the work required to be successful in the U.S. Senate here in Washington, D.C.,” Manchin said. “He’ll show up every day to fight for West Virginia to create jobs, grow our economy and make a better life for our people.”

After serving as senator since 2010, Manchin announced he would not seek reelection last November, citing frustrations over a tense partisan divide in Washington.

Manchin’s decision opened the door for new Democratic candidates like Elliott, who are vying to represent their party in the November general election despite the state’s increasingly Republican base. Manchin is the only Democrat currently holding statewide office in West Virginia.

To secure a place in the state’s Nov. 5 general election, Elliott must defeat two opponents in the Democratic primary: former Marine Zach Shrewsbury and former coal executive Don Blankenship.

Elliott said he was “thrilled” by the endorsement, and that his reputation for “working across the aisle” and “getting things done” helped secure Manchin’s support.

“The senator has made very clear he thinks politics in Washington is broken. One of the advantages of being a mayor is — especially wherever a town like Wheeling is — you don’t really have the luxury of letting politics get broken,” he said. “You gotta get things done.”

With this fall’s general election looming, West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race has become a focal point for both the Democratic and Republican parties nationally.

Both chambers of the United States Congress are led by narrow partisan majorities, with Democrats leading in the Senate and Republicans leading in the United States House of Representatives.

Political analysts have predicted that West Virginia will likely flip to a Republican senator in this year’s general election, which would threaten the Democratic Party’s already tenuous Senate majority.

Elliott said that Manchin’s endorsement suggested that “he thinks I’m the best option to keep the Senate seat going forward.”

Now backed by Manchin, Elliott said he hopes his campaign will appeal to West Virginia voters seeking a candidate who can follow through on their needs in Washington.

“We need folks who have a record of getting things done and who are doers,” he said. “I certainly bring that experience and perspective to the race.”