Republican contenders in West Virginia are lining up to upend Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, in the 2024 Senate race.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is reportedly contemplating a run at Manchin's Senate slot in two years, which would represent a major seat flip for the Republicans.
According to the Washington Examiner, Ohio and Montana could also be substantial flip opportunities for Senate Republicans in two years.
"I'm very seriously considering running for Senate," Justice said at a Tuesday press briefing, according to 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."
Justice added: "I'm sure [West Virginia residents will] be right with me, as they know without any question I'll be right with them."
In 2018, Manchin held off Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, in the U.S. Senate race, outlasting the West Virginia attorney general by 0.3 percentage points and less than 20,000 votes.
However, 2024 could different for Manchin, whose deciding Senate vote earlier this year reportedly pushed through the controversial Inflation Reduction Act — a bill that was widely panned by West Virginia Republicans.
"[The Inflation Reduction Act] disproportionately hurts West Virginia, not only directly in terms of coal and the impact on the taxes that are on the coal industry, which will hurt our state tremendously. It also is going to lead to dramatically spiked power bills," Morrisey told Newsmax in August.
Morrisey added: "One of the things that I've been working on for many years is to try to ensure that if there's a transition that moves away from coal and moves toward renewables that you have to be sensitive to the timeline. ... This bill does the opposite; it doubles down on the Green New Deal and what [President Joe] Biden's been trying to do that 40% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030."
According to the Newsmax elections tracker, Democrats (50 seats) have already clinched the majority in the Senate, due to Vice President Kamala Harris breaking all ties.
Republicans (currently 49 seats), however, can make that deficit razor-thin next month, if Republican challenger Herschel Walker knocks out incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., in the Dec. 6 Senate runoff election.
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