Manchin preparing to announce decision about governor’s race

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Joe Manchin

FILE – In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., shows an illustration of a Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, top, and China’s Shenyang J-31 Stealth Fighter jet, bottom, as he questions Secretary of the Army and Secretary of Defense nominee Mark Esper on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is preparing to announce whether he’ll run for governor in next fall’s election.

His spokesman says Manchin is expected to announce his decision sometime Tuesday.

Manchin’s entry into the gubernatorial race would likely set up a showdown with Republican Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who enjoys the support of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s support is sky-high in West Virginia, but Manchin is a rare Democrat who is popular statewide. He served as governor from 2005 to 2010.

Senate Democrats are trying to take back the majority in 2020. If Manchin wins the governor’s race, he could possibly appoint his successor in the Senate. If he loses, he can remain in the Senate and not face reelection until 2024.

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