The Sunday News-Register Endorses Joe Manchin for U.S. Senate

It seems sometimes as if partisanship reigns over principle in Washington, D.C. Questions about what is right or wrong for Americans are pushed aside in favor of what is best for Republicans and Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., doesn’t see that as his mission. For nearly eight years, he has served Mountain State residents well, taking his orders from us rather than anyone in Washington.

For that reason, the News-Register endorses Manchin for re-election on Nov. 6.

Manchin’s record has been of serving his constituents, whether in demanding an “all-of-the-above” energy policy instead of a war on coal or helping us cope with the substance abuse crisis — in concrete ways. In May, Manchin helped secure nearly $3 million for a new substance abuse treatment center in Wheeling.

Time and again, Northern Panhandle residents have seen proof Manchin takes a direct interest in our area.

Nearly $78 million in federal funding — including a whopping $36 million for highways — has poured into our counties this year, through Manchin’s work as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Funding has ranged from $5.6 million for Northern Panhandle Head Start to $423,047 helping the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless.

Manchin has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars for projects ranging from water and sewer service in Marshall County to airport improvements.

He has played a key role in ensuring the continued existence of a program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, that touches nearly everyone in our area.

Funding for the LWCF was in danger of lapsing. That would have been a disaster for every community in our area. During its existence, the fund has helped many local recreational facilities, including Oglebay, Grand Vue and Brooke Hills parks. The program even helped build Benwood’s public swimming pool. Municipal parks in New Martinsville, Moundsville, Weirton and several other towns have been aided.

Earlier this month, a bill championed by Manchin, to ensure the LWCF is funded, was advanced in the Senate.

One of his top priorities is health care. Manchin agrees that the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — has not worked well. He wants to replace it with something better, however, not a plan that endangers the health insurance of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

One issue this election cycle has been whether Manchin supports President Donald Trump’s policies. On key matters, he does.

Manchin voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He was the only Democrat to do so.

A political stunt? No. Several other Trump nominees for federal judgeships came up for Senate votes on Oct. 11. Manchin was among just a handful of Democrats who broke with their party to vote for four of them. Wheeling native Thomas Kleeh was confirmed for federal judgeship that day, too — but, it is pleasing to note, by a bipartisan vote.

And, regarding the president’s famous pledge to build a wall on our southern border to keep out illegal immigrants, Manchin was one of just three Democrats to vote in favor of a key bill.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who opposes Manchin for the Senate seat, has been very effective in his position, in a variety of ways. He was a recognized national leader against former President Barack Obama’s war on coal. His initiatives against drug abuse have made a difference. He took action against pharmaceutical companies that flooded our state with opiates, winning settlements totaling $47 million against them. And on issues of importance such as the Second Amendment, he has served West Virginians well.

Should he choose to seek re-election in two years, voters will have many reasons to retain Morrisey as attorney general.

On the national stage, however, Manchin’s seniority and ability to build coalitions among moderate Democrats and Republicans are the kind of leadership we need in the Senate.

Manchin represents his fellow Mountain State residents — regardless of what anyone, Democrat or Republican, in Washington demands.

Manchin has been a good senator for West Virgina — one we should keep by re-electing him on Nov. 6.

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