U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D) is likely the only Democrat able to win in a state-wide election in heavily conservative West Virginia. This has the GOP praying that he’ll retire.
Manchin served in the state legislature for 14 years, was the WV secretary of state, and later elected governor. His popularity as a two-term governor helped him win the 2010 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by incumbent Democrat Robert Byrd’s death with 53% of the vote; in 2012 he was elected to a full term with 61% of the vote.
Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in business administration. He became involved in several family-owned businesses before launching his political career.
Manchin is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Manchin has a $9 million war chest, which he will need to defy the odds in a deep red state.