Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin
United States Senator
from West Virginia
Assumed office
November 15, 2010
Serving with Shelley Moore Capito
Preceded by Carte Goodwin
34th Governor of West Virginia
In office
January 17, 2005 – November 15, 2010
Preceded by Bob Wise
Succeeded by Earl Ray Tomblin
27th Secretary of State of West Virginia
In office
January 15, 2001 – January 17, 2005
Governor Bob Wise
Preceded by Ken Hechler
Succeeded by Betty Ireland
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 13th district
In office
December 1, 1992 – December 1, 1996
Preceded by Bill Sharpe
Succeeded by Roman Prezioso
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 14th district
In office
December 1, 1986 – December 1, 1992
Preceded by Anthony Yanero
Succeeded by Charles Felton
Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
from the 31st district
In office
December 1, 1982 – December 1, 1984
Preceded by Clyde See
Succeeded by ???
Personal details
Born Joseph Manchin III
(1947-08-24) August 24, 1947
Farmington, West Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gayle Conelly
Children Heather
Alma mater West Virginia University, Morgantown
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Senate website

Joseph "Joe" Manchin III (born August 24, 1947)[1] is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia. Manchin, a member of the Democratic Party, previously served as the Governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010 and the Secretary of State of West Virginia from 2001 to 2005. He won the special election in November 2010 to fill the seat of Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving U.S. Senator, who died in office. Manchin was elected to a full term in office with 60 percent of the vote in November 2012. Manchin became the state's senior Senator when Jay Rockefeller retired in 2015.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Early political career 2
  • Governor of West Virginia 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Tenure 3.2
  • U.S. Senate 4
    • Elections 4.1
      • 2010 4.1.1
      • 2012 4.1.2
    • Tenure 4.2
      • Health care 4.2.1
      • Federal budget 4.2.2
      • Reducing drug trade 4.2.3
      • Senior citizens 4.2.4
      • Energy 4.2.5
      • Bipartisanship 4.2.6
      • Afghanistan 4.2.7
      • Gun laws 4.2.8
    • Committee assignments 4.3
  • Criticism 5
    • Coal industry 5.1
    • Don't Ask, Don't Tell 5.2
  • Personal life 6
  • Electoral history 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
    • Senator 9.1
    • Governor 9.2
  • External links 10

Early life and education

Manchin was born in Farmington, West Virginia, a small coal mining town, in 1947, the second of five children of Mary O. (née Gouzd) and John Manchin.[1][2] Manchin was derived from "Mancini."

His father was of Italian descent and his maternal grandparents were Czechoslovakian immigrants.[1][3] His father owned a carpet and furniture store, and his grandfather, Joseph Manchin, owned a grocery store.[4] His father and his grandfather both once served as Mayor of Farmington, West Virginia. His uncle, A. James Manchin, was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and was elected as the West Virginia Secretary of State and West Virginia State Treasurer.[5]

Manchin graduated from Farmington High School in 1965.[6] Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965; however, an injury during practice ended his football career. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in information management and later became involved in several family-owned businesses.

Early political career

Manchin was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1982 at the age of 35 and was later elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1986, where he served until 1996. He ran for Governor in 1996, finishing second to Charlotte Pritt among a large group of candidates in the Democratic primary election. He later ran and was elected as Secretary of State of West Virginia in 2000.

Governor of West Virginia


Manchin announced his intention to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor, Bob Wise, in the 2004 Democratic primary election in May 2003. Wise decided not to seek re-election after a scandal, and Manchin won both the Democratic primary and general election by large margins. His election marked the first time that two people of the same political party followed one another in the West Virginia Governor's office since 1964. After the election, he was criticized in the press for using taxpayer funds to purchase 17 flat screen TVs for the Governors Mansion.[7]

Manchin won re-election to a second term as Governor in 2008, capturing 70 percent of the vote.[8]


Manchin speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in his capacity as chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

Manchin was a member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association, and the Democratic Governors Association. He was also chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, state's chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission and chairman of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.

In July 2005, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship sued Manchin, alleging that Manchin had violated Blankenship's First Amendment rights by threatening increased government scrutiny of his coal operations due to Blankenship's political activities.[9] Blankenship had donated substantial funds into campaigns to defeat a proposed pension bond amendment and oppose the re-election of state Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw,[10] and he fought against a proposed increase in the severance tax on extraction of mineral resources.[11] Soon after defeat of the pension bond amendment, the state Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked a permit approval for controversial new silos near Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County. While area residents had complained for some time that the coal operation there endangered their children, Blankenship claimed that the DEP acted in response to his opposition to the bond amendment.[12]

During the Sago Mine disaster of early January 2006 in Upshur County, West Virginia, Manchin initially appeared to confirm incorrect reports that 12 miners had survived; in actuality only one survived. Manchin later acknowledged that an unintentional miscommunication had occurred with rescue teams within the mine. On February 1, 2006, he ordered a stop to all coal production in West Virginia, pending safety checks, after two more miners were killed in separate accidents.[13] A total of 16 West Virginia coal miners died from mining accidents in early 2006. Manchin's overall handling of the Sago mine incident may have enhanced his popularity. In November 2006, SurveyUSA ranked him as one of the most popular governors in the country with a 74 percent approval rating.[14]

In 2007, a controversy arose after Manchin's daughter,

Political offices
Preceded by
Ken Hechler
Secretary of State of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Betty Ireland
Preceded by
Bob Wise
Governor of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Earl Ray Tomblin
Preceded by
Jim Douglas
Chairperson of National Governors Association
Succeeded by
Christine Gregoire
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bob Wise
Democratic nominee for Governor of West Virginia
2004, 2008
Succeeded by
Earl Ray Tomblin
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from West Virginia
(Class 1)

2010, 2012
United States Senate
Preceded by
Carte Goodwin
United States Senator (Class 1) from West Virginia
Served alongside: Jay Rockefeller, Shelley Moore Capito
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Al Franken
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Chris Coons
  • Senator Joe Manchin official U.S. Senate site
  • Joe Manchin for Senate
  • Joe Manchin at DMOZ

External links



Further reading

  1. ^ a b c d e Burton, Danielle (August 1, 2008). "10 Things You Didn't Know About West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin".  
  2. ^ "Manchin’s mom was a tomboy in her youth". Beckley Register-Herald. December 26, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ Baxter, Anna (August 26, 2008). "Day 2: Democratic National Convention". WSAZ-TV. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ [6]
  5. ^ [7]
  6. ^ Fournier, Eddie (November 2008). "Our States: West Virginia [serial online]".  
  7. ^ a b "Joe Manchin III: The Harry Houdini of West Virginia Politics". Huntington News. September 1, 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Jessica Lilly (November 5, 2008). "Gov. Manchin wins second term". West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  9. ^ JENNIFER BUNDY (July 27, 2005). "Massey CEO sues W.Va. governor in federal court". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Eric Newhouse. "West Virginia: The story behind the score". Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "The WV Coal Equation: Living With Past Peak Production". April 17, 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Michael Shnayerson (May 2005). "The Rape of Appalachia". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Lawrence Messina (February 2, 2006). "W.Va. governor asks for halt in coal production". The Beauford Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Approval Ratings For All 50 Governors As Of 11/20/06". SurveyUSA. November 20, 2006. 
  15. ^ Staff (May 16, 2008). "Message for WVU: The board of governors must restore credibility". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Joe Manchin stated that he would not select himself for the US senate position should Robert Byrd be unable to serve a full term on YouTube
  17. ^ Lisa Lerer (June 28, 2010). "Robert Byrd, Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, Dies at 92". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  18. ^ CNN Wire Staff (July 16, 2010). "West Virginia governor to name Byrd replacement". CNN. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  19. ^ Aaron Blake (July 20, 2010). "W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin launches Senate campaign; Capitol on deck". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ Associated Press staff reporter. "Manchin & Raese Nominees for Byrd's Senate Seat". Associated Press. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Manchin leads Capito, Raese, McKinley for 2012 re-election" (PDF).  
  22. ^ "Dem Senator Doesn’t Know If He Will Vote For Obama".  
  23. ^ a b "Statewide Results : General Election - November 6, 2012". Retrieved 14 January 2015.