Curtis Tate Published

Manchin Leaves Democratic Party, Registers As An Independent

Close up photo of an older man wearing formal attire. He has salt and pepper colored hair and is talking into a podium microphone.
FILE - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, July 11, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Manchin says he has registered as an independent, raising questions about his future political plans.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo, File

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has left the Democratic Party and registered as an independent.

Manchin, who’s leaving the Senate at the end of the year, blamed both Democrats and Republicans for leaving West Virginia and the country behind and “jeopardizing our democracy.”

“Today, our national politics are broken and neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground,” Manchin said. “To stay true to myself and remain committed to put country before party, I have decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation and continue to fight for America’s sensible majority.”

Manchin was the only Democrat elected statewide. He served in the House of Delegates and state Senate, then as secretary of state and governor before he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

He’s currently chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

Manchin clashed frequently with Democratic presidents, especially over energy policy. Yet his support was decisive in Congress passing President Joe Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, in 2022.

He was also a driving force behind legislation requiring the completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile natural gas pipeline that’s nearly finished.

Manchin had flirted with a possible run for president and more recently has been rumored to be considering a run for governor.

In that race, Republicans have nominated Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, while Democrats have nominated Huntington Mayor Steve Williams. Manchin said he supports Williams.

Aug. 1 is the last day for a candidate with no party organization to file a certificate of announcement.