Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told Politco he is considering a run at the governorship in 2020, a move that could shake up the future of the Senate for Democrats after Manchin won a close election in the deep red state in 2018.
What has Manchin said about this? "I think about it every minute of every day. Now, thinking about it and doing it are two different things. I'll make a decision this fall sometime. I don't think there's any hurry at all."
Why would he run for governor? Manchin was governor of West Virginia from 2005 until 2010. He said he loved the position, calling it the "best job in the world."
Manchin also cited a fondness for the toughness of campaigns. His 2018 Senate race was a difficult one for the Democrat. He won by three percentage points.
"Campaigns [are] the best part of politics," Manchin said. "Can't be any tougher than what I came through, an off-year election when they concentrated all their money against you."
What's the downside for Democrats? It's hard for a Democrat to win a Senate race in West Virginia. In 2016, President Donald Trump won the state by 42 points. So, if Manchin leaves, there's a good chance a Republican could win that seat in the next midterm election.
Manchin would get to appoint his successor if he won the gubernatorial election, and that replacement would serve until the next midterm in 2022. If he runs and loses, he will maintain his Senate seat.
Who would he be running against? Manchin would face off against Democrat-turned-Republican Gov. Jim Justice. The two have already been trading barbs in the media, potentially posturing for a 2020 showdown. Justice has accused Manchin of aligning with "Washington liberals," while Manchin has criticized Justice's work ethic.