Joe Manchin, Other Top West Virginia Democrats, Skipping Convention
Don’t look for many top West Virginia Democrats at the Democratic National Convention:
Three prominent West Virginia Democrats said Monday that they would skip the party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C., this September over concerns that links to the party could hurt their re-election chances.
Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin all said they would avoid the convention, according to the West Virginia Metro News.
I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that’s representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation,” said Manchin in a statement. “I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election.”
The announcements come after Manchin and Tomblin both indicated earlier this year that they were not sure they would personally support President Obama’s re-election effort.
“The people in West Virginia, they basically look at the candidates — whatever you’re running for, whether it be the president itself, or whatever — [they look at] the performance and the result that’s been attained,” Manchin told the National Journal in April. “Right now in West Virginia, these first three and a half years haven’t been that good to West Virginia. So, then you look [at] what the options will be, who will be on the other end.”
Tomblin reiterated that he had not decided who to back in November when discussing his decision to opt out of attending the convention.
“As he has said, he has serious problems with both Governor Romney and President Obama,” Tomblin campaign spokesman Chris Stadleman told the Metro News. “The Governor feels that his time is best spent working in West Virginia to move our state forward instead of attending a four-day political rally in North Carolina.”
All of this will no doubt add to the speculation about whether or not Manchin may jump ship if the Senate changes hands in November.