Governor Justice Set to Decide on Senate Run this Month 


State political heavyweights may collide in 2024 if Governor Justice mounts a campaign against Senator Joe Manchin.  

Governor Jim Justice is serving his final term as Governor of West Virginia. The office is term-limited leading many in the state to question what Justice’s political future may look like.  

Justice has hinted at a potential Senate run, stating he was “very seriously considering it” and even went as far as to say he was “leaning” toward running. He has routinely voiced concern regarding national political issues and many of the Biden administration’s policies. He recently posted a critical statement regarding many of Biden’s domestic policies on Twitter, stating, “Washington has really lost its way. I am adamantly opposed to what’s going on with the Biden Administration today from our southern border to inflation, to energy, and so much more. We could lose our country. We need to put America first.” 

Manchin, who also hasn’t decided whether to run for reelection, commented on a potential Senate campaign by Justice and whether that would affect his decision to run again, saying, “Now that doesn’t change my mind at all. Whatever I do, I’ll decide in my own time. So that won’t pressure me one way or another.” He also stated that he is “Not in a hurry at all” to decide whether to seek reelection.  

In 2016, Manchin endorsed Justice’s campaign for Governor. After Justice defected to the GOP, Manchin condemned many of Justice’s initiatives as Governor. In 2019, the Justice Administration terminated Joe Manchin’s wife, Gayle, who served as Education and the Arts Secretary.  

During an interview with NBC News, Manchin indicated he was committed to running a “clean” campaign if Justice ran opposite him. He mentioned their friendship, saying, “When all is said and done, the smoke clears, you still have that personal relationship and friendship you want to make sure you continue.” 

Democrats desperately need Manchin due to their razor-thin majority in the Senate. Justice is a formidable opponent who could flip Manchin’s seat. This would be a crushing blow to Democrats. Republicans have long coveted Manchin’s senate seat with hopes of flipping it in the next election. Currently, he is the only democrat representing West Virginia in Washington. The state continues to favor republican candidates with each passing election.  

The 2018 election saw Manchin barely defeat Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey. Justice is endorsed by President Trump in a state where Trump has an approval rating. In 2022, Justice was ranked the governor with the fifth-highest approval rating in the United States. Many voters favor Justice’s down-to-earth approach to politics.  

Congressman Alex Mooney announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Manchin in 2024.  

Following the 2022 election, the United States Senate consists of 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and three independents who caucus with the Democrats.