West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin says he won't seek re-election

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Thursday that he will not seek a new term in office.

"After months of deliberation and long conversation with my family I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia. I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to United States Senate," Manchin said in video message posted to X Thursday.

Manchin is known as one of the more conservative Democratic senators, sometimes voting with Republicans on issues such as abortion and environmental regulation.

In 2022, Manchin was the only Senate Democrat to vote against a law that would have offered federal protection for abortion rights.

While Manchin has been criticized by fellow Democrats for siding with Republicans too often, he presents himself as a centrist, a subject he touched upon in his announcement.

"What I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together," Manchin said.

In his announcement, Manchin said Americans were "worn out" by economic concerns.

"The majority of Americans are just plain worn out. Our economy is not working for many Americans from the rising cost of food and fuel and everything in between," Manchin said.

Manchin thanked his supporters in his announcement.

"To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better it has been my honor of my life to serve you, thank you," Manchin said.

After Manchin made his announcement, President Joe Biden praised him and his accomplishments.

"For more than forty years -- as a state legislator, a secretary of state, a governor, and a senator -- Joe Manchin has dedicated himself to serving the people of his beloved West Virginia," Biden said in a statement released by the White House. "During my time as vice president and now as president, Joe and I have worked together to get things done for hardworking families.

"From the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law -- which is upgrading America's aging infrastructure -- to the PACT Act -- which is making sure our veterans get the care they deserve -- to the Inflation Reduction Act -- which is strengthening our energy security and lowering prescription drug costs for our seniors -- to the most meaningful gun safety legislation in three decades, we've made real progress," Biden said.

The president also said he was "proud" when Manchin voted to make history and confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.