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Manchin says he will not leave Senate to join administration

August 19, 2017 GMT

FAIRLEA, W.Va. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says he will not join Republican President Donald Trump’s administration.

The Register-Herald reports Manchin addressed speculation that Trump was considering appointing him as energy secretary during a town hall meeting at the State Fair of West Virginia. Manchin said “that is not going to happen.” He said he is staying in the Senate and that his “heart and soul is West Virginia.”

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Trump won West Virginia with 68 percent of the vote during the 2016 presidential election. Earlier this month, the state’s Democratic governor switched parties. Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement during a Trump campaign rally in his state.

The newspaper reported Manchin’s comments drew cheers from a crowd of about 75 people.