West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, is gearing up to launch a Senate bid for Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat.
Justice will formally announce his campaign on Thursday evening at The Greenbrier in Sulpher Springs, according to a report from Politico.
According to the report, Justice was “heavily recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has been in contact with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
McConnell has made it clear that he intends to endorse the governor.
Gov. Justice will face off against Rep. Alex Mooney in the Republican primary. Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already endorsed the state representative.
“I’m proud to endorse Alex Mooney for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia,” Cruz said in his endorsement on Friday. “Alex is a friend, he’s a fighter and a strong conservative who will ferociously defend the Second Amendment, be a champion for American energy, prioritize bringing jobs to West Virginia, and faithfully and aggressively represent the values of the Mountain State in the Senate.”
Mooney is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and is largely considered more right-wing than Justice. The governor was elected as a Democrat before he switched parties.
Though West Virginia is a deeply red state, Manchin has held on to his office since 2010. He has not yet announced if he intends to run for reelection.
Trump won West Virginia in 2020 by 39 points and both Justice and Mooney are likely to seek his endorsement.
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