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Manchin Is Staying in the Senate

Manchin, right, said he would stay put in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joe Manchin III will not be taking any country roads home to West Virginia any time soon.  

The Democratic senator announced Sunday he's decided against seeking a return to the Mountaineer State's governor's mansion in 2016.  

That's good news for Manchin's fellow Democrats as an open Senate seat could prove difficult to hold in a special election. His term is not up until the 2018 cycle. Manchin came to the Senate from the governorship after winning the special election following the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd. He conceded Sunday the change of scenery has proven frustrating.  

"I will admit that it has been a harder transition than I had expected, but I believe that, after five years, we are beginning to make a difference. We are simply bringing a greater sense of bipartisanship and commitment to working together for the good of the American people," Manchin said in a statement. "It is because of that optimism that I have decided to continue serving the people of West Virginia in the United States Senate."  

Manchin first made his announcement Sunday morning on CBS' "Face the Nation," and expanded on his comments in the rather lengthy statement.  

"I feel that I can have the greatest impact on West Virginia and America by staying in Washington. This place may not be working now, but I’m not going to stop fighting to make it work," Manchin said.  

Manchin was the first among his Senate Democrats to endorse New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer to be the next leader, an announcement he made the day current Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced his intent to retire at the end of his term.  

"He has proven that he can work with moderate and progressive Members of the Democratic Caucus, and importantly, with Republican Members from across the aisle. He also shares my values and priorities in ensuring middle class Americans are able to succeed in our country," Manchin said in his March 27 statement about Schumer's ascension.  

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