(CNN) -Former President Bill Clinton's heading to West Virginia Monday, to try and keep in party hands a seat that the Democrats have held for more than half a century.
Gov. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he would be joined by the former President Monday at a rally in Morgantown, West Virginia.
"I am truly pleased that President Bill Clinton will join me on the campaign trail," Manchin said in a release. "President Clinton understands West Virginians and this is a great opportunity for me to continue to share my vision for West Virginia and how I will continue to stand up and fight for what is best for our state and nation. I encourage fellow West Virginians to come out and join us."
The popular two-term Democratic governor is his party's Senate nominee in a special election this November to fill the final two years of the term of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year. Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1958.
Manchin faces off against businessman John Raese, the Republican nominee. Raese lost to Byrd in the state's 2006 Senate race. Top non-partisan political handicappers consider the race a toss-up.
Soon after the Manchin announced Clinton's Monday visit, the Raese campaign responded, putting out a release accusing the governor for being a flip-flopper, pointing to comments Manchin made on MSNBC. When asked in an interview whether he would want President Barack Obama to come and campaign for him, Manchin said "I've never had people come and campaign for me. I've always done my own campaigns."
"The Governor considers President Clinton to be a long-time friend, not a current elected official, and it's a shame that John Raese doesn't understand the difference," responded Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg.
Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party is also on the ballot in the general election.
West Virginia is the second campaign stop for Clinton on Monday. He starts the day in Kentucky, teaming up with state Attorney General Jack Conway, the party's Senate nominee. Conway faces off in November against GOP nominee Rand Paul in the battle to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning. Clinton's been very active on the campaign trail this election cycle, helping fellow Democrats, often in states where moderate to conservative voters dominate, and where Obama may not be so popular, such as Kentucky and West Virginia.
(Updated 2:27 p.m. ET with Manchin campaign response)
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