Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2024.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat of West Virginia, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election next year, a highly anticipated decision that could change the battle for control of the Senate in 2024.

“After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia. I have made one of the hardest decisions of my life, and I have decided that I will not run for re-election to the United States Senate, but I will travel the country. “I will talk to see if there is interest in building a movement to mobilize the middle class and bring Americans together,” Manchin said in a statement. Video report.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., on February 9, 2022 at the Capitol.Graeme Sloan / Sipa USA via AP File

“To the West Virginians who put their trust in me and fought side by side to improve our state – it has been the honor of my life to serve you. Thank you,” he said.

The decision by Manchin, a former governor who was elected to the Senate in a 2010 special election, promises a pick-up for Republicans in the ruby-red state of West Virginia. Party hands.

Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a scathing statement: “We like our odds in West Virginia.”

Both Governor Jim Justice and Representative Alex Mooney are already running for the Republican nomination.

As for Manchin’s future, a source with direct knowledge of his plans told NBC News: “No specific decisions have been made other than finding a way to change the political conversation in the country.”

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Asked if Manchin was considering a run for president — including as a Democratic, independent or no-label candidate — the source replied, “Nothing is off the table.”

This is a growing story. Check back for updates.

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