Manchin wins Democratic primary in West Virginia, CNN projects
May 8th, 2012
09:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Manchin wins Democratic primary in West Virginia, CNN projects

(CNN) - Incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin will win Tuesday's Democratic primary in West Virginia, CNN projects, pushing him one step closer in his campaign to hold on to his Senate seat this year.

"I want to thank all of the volunteers, supporters and people of this great state who continue to give me the opportunity to serve them," Manchin said in a statement. "I am truly honored and humbled by your confidence."

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The first-term senator beat back a primary challenge from Democrat Sheirl Fletcher, a business owner and former two-term member of the state Legislature.

"I will continue to work hard to stop the political bickering and bring Democrats, Independents and Republicans together so we can put our country first and do what is right for the next generation," Manchin said.

Having first won the Senate seat in a 2010 special election - held to fill the seat vacated by the late Sen. Robert Byrd - Manchin is now up for a full six-year term.

Manchin will face off this fall against Republican John Raese, who ran unopposed in this year's GOP primary. This will be the second time the two candidates have gone head to head. Raese ran against Manchin in the 2010 special election, putting up a tough fight for the then-governor in what is normally a heavily Democratic state.

In the closing days of the race, Manchin pulled ahead and won the election, 53% to 43%.

The incumbent senator has already far outpaced Raese in fundraising this cycle, although Raese had no challengers in the primary.

Manchin has pulled in more than $3 million this cycle, compared to Raese at just over $180,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission as of mid-April.

The senator, often described as a conservative Democrat, made headlines in late April when he expressed uncertainty over voting for President Barack Obama later this year.

"Right now in West Virginia, these first 3? years haven't been that good to West Virginia," he said this week, according to the National Journal. "So, then you look [at] what the options will be, who will be on the other end?"

Manchin is known for bucking his own party - even literally shooting a rifle through a Democratic-backed cap and trade bill in his 2010 Senate campaign.

He was one of about a dozen Democrats to side in a March vote with Republicans on the Keystone XL pipeline. He also voted against both parties' bills to raise the federal government's debt ceiling in the heated showdown last summer.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Manchin • Senate • West Virginia
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Good luck, work united for win in 12. Obama12.

    May 8, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. kate

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 8, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. BeverlyNC

    Manchin is a Democrat traitor who usually votes with Republicans. His win means nothing.

    May 8, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  4. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    We count him as a GOP'er anyway.

    May 8, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  5. R1983

    Manchin is no democrat, the President like him, but he should keep an eye on him, because he is not someone
    that the Dem can count on or trust. What can you expect from WEST VIRGINIA.

    May 9, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  6. fred ca

    It would have been nice to see a reference to the interesting result in the WV vote...an inmate at a federal prison got 40% ( ,-) in the democrat primary against obama. In NC 20% of democrat voters left the presidential choice blank.

    May 9, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. Marie MD

    I thought this guy wasn't a Democrat but a dino.

    May 9, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |