Take the step towards a better tomorrow. Join our newsletter.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, A Centrist Catholic, Won’t Seek Reelection

Articles | November 10, 2023 | by Catholics for Catholics

By Matt McDonald of Catholic News Agency

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the last centrist Catholic Democrat in the U.S. Senate, announced Thursday he isn’t running for reelection next year.

“I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for reelection to the United States Senate. But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” Manchin, 76, said in a video posted Thursday afternoon on X (formerly Twitter).

Manchin’s remarks in the four-minute-plus video included some of the hallmarks of a campaign speech, including references to hot-button issues and appeals to the middle.

“Every incentive in Washington is designed to make our politics extreme. The growing divide between Democrats and Republicans is paralyzing Congress and worsening our nation’s problems. The majority of Americans are just plain worn out,” Manchin said.

He added later: “I know our country isn’t as divided as Washington wants us to believe.”

He also ticked off domestic campaign issues, including inflation, crime, the national debt, and what he called “the border crisis.”

“Our economy is not working for many Americans, from the rising cost of food and fuel, and everything in between,” Manchin said.

He also alluded to foreign policy, referring to Ukraine and Israel without mentioning them by name.

“We are providing critical aid to two of our allies fighting wars for their survival, and we must prevent being pulled into a major war ourselves,” Manchin said.

Effect on Congress

Manchin’s decision to leave the U.S. Senate may hurt the Democrats’ chances of keeping it in 2024.

Democrats currently control the Senate by a margin of 51-49 — which includes three independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Manchin was facing a tough campaign for a third term. An October poll found him 13 points behind a likely Republican challenger in right-leaning West Virginia.

But Manchin was far from a write-off next year. He weathered the Donald Trump storm in 2018, winning reelection by three points in the state that voted more lopsidedly for Trump in 2016 than any other.

Kennedy Democrat

Manchin is a remnant of a type of politician who used to be common in national politics — the Democratic centrist with an immigrant family history who identifies strongly with the Catholic Church.

In the video announcement Thursday, Manchin described an argument he had with his father when he first told him he wanted to run for office.

His father thought of politics as a dirty business, but Manchin won him over by quoting the most famous sentence from President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“My family were devoted Catholics who immigrated from Italy and Czechoslovakia. So to us, President Kennedy was held in the highest regard. And I knew President Kennedy’s words would sway my dad,” Manchin said in the video.

For the original article click here.


Receive The Good News newsletter, a free daily resource provided by Catholics for Catholics (CforC.com). It aims to inform Catholics of the top stories happening inside and outside the Catholic Church. Covering a range of topics from religion, politics, culture, and more, the newsletter delivers news and insights from a Catholic perspective.

Click here to sign-up and stay in the loop.

Catholics for Catholics is moving hearts and minds for Jesus Christ and His Church—and inspiring a new wave of Catholicism and love of America. Use the form below to STAY CONNECTED with the fastest-growing Catholic movement across the United States.


You can help us

It is not enough to simply speak of faith. We must be persons of faith and embrace our religious heritage to navigate the present with wisdom and purpose. Donate to our mission today.
Support Our Mission