Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Tuesday he is staying in the U.S. Senate despite being considered for Trump’s cabinet earlier this month.
In a statement, Manchin said that “right now, I believe that I can best serve my state of West Virginia in the United States Senate.”
Manchin announced his decision after reports emerged that Trump plans to nominate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) as secretary of the Department of Energy, the position that Manchin had been considered for.
“I was humbled to be considered for the Secretary of Energy position. I have dedicated my life in public service to doing what is best for the people of West Virginia,” Manchin said in a released statement. “Right now, I believe that I can best serve my state of West Virginia in the United States Senate.”
Over the last several weeks, Manchin had been considered a serious contender for the cabinet position, and Senate Democrats had been working overtime to keep him in the Senate. Incoming Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) even appeared with Manchin last week at an evening press conference outside the Capitol where Manchin was trying to get an extended health care package for miners into a must-pass spending bill.
Outgoing Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) also said that Manchin had clearly been gunning for the position.
“Listen, I know that we’ve done stuff in the last few weeks to try to make Manchin happy,” Reid told CNN Monday.
“I hope all Americans join me in working with President-elect Trump in a bipartisan way to bring our country together and make it successful. I am committed to working with President Trump and his Administration to find commonsense solutions to pass the Miners Protection Act, solve our opioid crisis, rebuild our infrastructure, reform our broken tax code, keep faith with our veterans and build an economy that works for all Americans,” Manchin said.