West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a longtime political moderate, on Friday announced he is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent.In a statement, Manchin, who is not running for re-election, said he switched his party affiliation at the West Virginia State Capitol. “From my first day in public service in 1982, I have always focused on doing what’s best for my state and my country, without regard to party or politics. Throughout my days in elected office, I have always been proud of my commitment to common sense, bipartisanship and my desire to bring people together. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be. I have never seen America through a partisan lens,” Manchin said. “However, since becoming a United States Senator in 2010, I have seen both the Democrat and Republican parties leave West Virginia and our country behind for partisan extremism while jeopardizing our democracy. Today, our national politics are broken and neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground. To stay true to myself and remain committed to put country before party, I have decided to register as an independent with no party affiliation and continue to fight for America’s sensible majority.”This is a developing story and will be updated.
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