West Virginia governor on Senate run: 'I guess it's possible'

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said on Wednesday that it is “possible” that he would launch a Senate campaign when his second term as governor ends in 2024. 

In an interview with The Intelligencer published on Monday, Justice told the newspaper that he’s considering a Senate run, but he hasn’t fully committed to it yet. 

“I don’t really know what I’m going to do right yet,” Justice told the local publication. “Maybe you’ll see me … you know … sticking around and running for national office. But right now, I don’t know.”

When asked about who should succeed him as governor, Justice responded that his replacement should care about the needs of West Virginia constituents. 

“Most [politicians] are looking for all the perks, looking for the next parties and all the tips. And all that’s not going to work. We’ve proven that time and time again,” Justice added. 

The next Senate election in West Virginia will be in 2024, for the seat currently held by Sen. Joe Manchin (D).

Justice was first elected governor in 2016 as a Democrat, hiring Manchin’s wife, Gayle Manchin, as the state’s secretary of Education and the Arts, according to The Intelligencer. 

Justice removed Gayle Manchin and eliminated her position within his Cabinet in 2018, a year after he switched his political affiliation to join the GOP. 

Justice’s remarks come weeks after he signed into law a severe ban on abortions in the state, only permitting the procedure for cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies. 

West Virginia is the second state this year to sign into law an abortion ban following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade’s federal abortion protections.

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