Joe Manchin defeats Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate race

Sen. Joe Manchin (D) was declared the winner of the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia, defeating Republican Patrick Morrisey.

Morrisey, the state’s attorney general, trailed in the polls leading up to Election Day but was still considered a threat to Manchin, a Democrat serving a deep red state that President Donald Trump won with 68 percent of the vote in 2016. Trump and several people close to him ― including Vice President Mike Pence and several members of Trump’s family ― made appearances in West Virginia on Morrisey’s behalf in the weeks ahead of the election.

Morrisey frequently touted Trump’s support, billing himself as “an ally” to the president and asking people to “join the Trump-Morrisey team.”

But the president’s backing wasn’t enough to help Morrisey, who painted Manchin as too liberal on issues like abortion and gun control.

Morrisey repeatedly slammed Manchin’s support of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said during a campaign stop in 2016 that she had “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” But since the 2016 election, Manchin has taken great pains to present himself as a moderate.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin
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West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (R), who broke ranks to vote with Republicans for Jeff Sessions to become U.S. Attorney General, looks towards U.S President Donald Trump during a Supreme Court listening session at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) walks into Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) (C) arrives in the underground subway system for a vote at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 14, 2015. President Barack Obama's trade agenda, which focuses squarely on developing stronger ties with Asia, gets a shot at new life on Thursday when the U.S. Senate is set to hold an important test vote on legislation to help him complete a Pacific Rim deal.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks on his mobile phone as he arrives for the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, February 4, 2014.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin as they arrive on Capitol Hill before Kerry briefs members of the Senate Banking Committee behind closed doors about Iran and his recent negotiations in Europe, in Washington November 13, 2013.

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

US Senator Joe Manchin leaves after a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower December 12, 2016 in New York.


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) meets with Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland (L) in his office on Capitol Hill April 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Garland is meeting with senators today while visiting Capitol Hill.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., conduct a news conference in the Capitol on airport security, April, 05, 2016. They urged that new security provisions to help protect 'soft targets' be included in the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia arrives to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 12, 2016.

(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

US President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One with Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, upon arrival at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia on October 21, 2015. Obama is in Charleston, West Virginia to take part in a discussion on drug abuse.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., attend a luncheon in the Capitol Visitor Center to present a Congressional Gold Medal to Sgt. John M. Watson, 96, of Beckley, W.Va., who was recognized by the Tuskegee Airmen Association, May 20, 2015.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks on his mobile phone as he arrives for the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

He told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in 2017 he didn’t “give a shit” if he failed to be re-elected for breaking party lines on tax reform. He was also the only Democratic senator to vote for Trump’s scandal-ridden Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh.

Many of Manchin’s attacks centered on Morrisey’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry, a sore spot in a state ravaged by the opioid crisis. Morrisey’s wife works as a lobbyist for Capitol Counsel, which represents pharmaceutical companies, and Morrisey previously worked in a similar role. Lawyers and lobbyists with ties to the industry provided tens of thousands of dollars to Morrisey’s campaign, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported in 2017.

Morrisey fired back with criticism of Manchin’s own pharmaceutical ties: Manchin’s daughter is the CEO of Mylan, the company now known for the EpiPen pricing scandal.

Manchin, who previously served as governor of West Virginia, has been a U.S. senator since 2010, when he defeated Republican John Raese in a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D). He defeated Raese again two years later, when he was re-elected to serve a full term.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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