The West Virginia Republican Party is continuing a newspaper ad campaign it began Wednesday targeting Gov. Joe Manchin (D).
The state party took out full-page ads in several Charleston newspapers linking Manchin to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
“This is just the first in what we anticipate will be a series,” state party Chairman Doug McKinney told the Charleston Gazette. “We think these are questions the governor needs to answer if he wants to run for the Senate.”
The ads push Manchin to publicly break with the Democratic leadership on cap-and-trade and healthcare, asking “Why are you so eager to quit your job and stand with the liberal Washington Democrats?”
Manchin is an opponent of the president’s cap-and-trade proposal.
A special session of the West Virginia legislature opens at noon Thursday, and lawmakers are expected to approve a bill that would allow Manchin to call a November special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D).
Manchin is expected to name an interim replacement for Byrd by 5 p.m. Friday and announce his own intentions for the seat shortly after. It’s widely anticipated that Manchin will run in a November special election.
On the Republican side, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is the party’s best chance to defeat Manchin, but under current state law she would have to resign her House seat to run in a November special election, something she is unlikely to do.