Former President Donald Trump has endorsed West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice in his run for the U.S. Senate in 2024.
Justice faces Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) in the state's GOP primary and will face Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin if he runs for reelection next year.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 18, 2023
“Big Jim will be a Great UNITED STATES SENATOR, and has my Complete & Total Endorsement. HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!!!” Trump posted on his social media site, Truth Social.
“Strong on the Border, our Great Military & Vets, CLEAN COAL & Energy Dominance, the Economy, Stopping Inflation, & Protecting our 2nd Amendment," he added.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) October 19, 2023
"An Emerson College poll released Friday found that Justice has a lead of 13 percentage points (41%-28%) against Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin," Newsmax reported.
"The poll also found that 15% said they planned to vote for someone else, and 16% said they are undecided," it noted.
NEWS: Trump Endorses Jim Justice in West Virginia Senate Race
The endorsement is a significant blow to Rep. Alex Mooney’s odds in the race
by @merica & @labbate_mariana @TheMessenger https://t.co/UiHVfyVcxj
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) October 18, 2023
"Justice is the only the second Senate candidate to win Trump's endorsement in the 2024 cycle," the Messenger reported.
"Trump’s endorsement in West Virginia is significant. Trump won every county in the state in 2016 and repeated the accomplishment in 2020," it continued.
The endorsement is likely to make it difficult for his opponent Mooney to make progress in defeating Justice in the primary. The key focus, however, is in flipping West Virginia's Senate seat from Democrat to Republican, adding another seat to the GOP in its effort to take back power in the Senate.
The Senate has been a close battle for the last two elections, with Democrats holding a slim advantage despite Republicans winning back the House in the 2022 election. Manchin has not yet announced his 2024 plans, even leaving the door open for a presidential run as a Democrat or as a third-party candidate.
If Manchin runs for reelection, he may find Justice too strong to defeat, with Trump's endorsement only adding to the popularity of the West Virginia governor known for his strong conservative values in the state.