by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – Democrat U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has been endorsed for re-election by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
UMWA President Cecil Roberts made the announcement Friday morning. He was surrounded by several miners in Charleston.
Political pundits have predicted that Manchin will have a difficult time being re-elected in a state that has turned decidedly Republican in recent years. The senate position has attracted several significant GOP challengers, including Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.
Manchin’s Democrat challenger is progressive activist Paula Jean Swearengin.
Other Republicans running are Bo Copley, Jack Newbrough and Tom Willis.
Roberts praised Manchin as a friend of coal miners and said he has been working in Washington for miners and their health benefits. In 2017, Roberts said, the senator secured funding for coal miner’s health benefits for over 22,000 West Virginia miners.