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Joe Manchin III

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Joe Manchin III
Joe Manchin.jpg
U.S. Senate, West Virginia
In office
November 15, 2010-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 5
PredecessorCarte Goodwin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$19.61 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor of West Virginia
West Virginia Secretary of State
West Virginia State Senate
West Virginia House of Delegates
High schoolFarmington High School
Bachelor'sWest Virginia University
Date of birthAugust 24, 1947
Place of birthFarmington, WV
Net worth$5,192,535
Office website
Campaign website
Joseph Anthony (Joe) Manchin III (b. August 24, 1947, in Farmington, WV) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of West Virginia. He succeeded the late Robert Byrd in a special election in 2010.

Manchin won re-election in 2012.[1] He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012, Democratic primary and defeated Republican John Raese in the general election.[2]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Manchin served as the governor of West Virginia and as the West Virginia Secretary of State.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Manchin is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration. He then became involved in several family-owned businesses before launching his political career.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Manchin's political career:[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Manchin serves on the following Senate committees:[5]


Manchin served on the following Senate committees:[6]

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Manchin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Manchin voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[11] Manchin joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Manchin voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown
See also:United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Manchin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[16]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Manchin voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[17]

Yellen nomination

Manchin explained his vote against Janet Yellen's nomination to the head of the Federal Reserve. He said, "I believe that Dr. Yellen is a very intelligent and capable nominee, but her views and beliefs to continue quantitative easing, despite a failure to see any real gains, greatly troubles me. We continue this risky endeavor without seeing the gains we expected… her views on the Federal Reserve’s direction force me to oppose her nomination."[18]


Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Manchin voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[19]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Manchin voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[20]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal cliff

Yea3.png Manchin voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003, while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[21]


On The Issues Vote Match

Manchin's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Manchin is a Moderate Populist Conservative. Manchin received a score of 26 percent on social issues and 43 percent on economic issues.[22]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[23]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Opposes
Support & expand free trade Neutral Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[22] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.


Manchin actively pursued overhauls to the Affordable Care Act. He pushed for delaying the penalties and extending the enrollment period for those seeking health insurance. He supported changing the definition of a part-time worker to under 40 hours, which would have made more people eligible for health insurance benefits and would have raised the cost of the ACA. Despite his push for change to the ACA, Manchin said, "I’m respectful. I want my president to do well. I have never been against something unless I had a better idea."[24]

Chemical spill

Manchin spoke out after a major chemical spill had his constituents using their water only to flush toilets for five days in January 2014. Manchin said, "It’s just a horrific situation. It should never happen. It tells you we have an awful lot of chemicals in this country that have been stored and have never been inspected. It’s a wake-up call for all of us." Fellow West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller requested a formal investigation of the incident. The investigation was approved.[25]

Gun control

Manchin released a TV spot in June 2013 in response to the ads the NRA ran against him for working with gun control advocates on background checks. Manchin, a member of the NRA, supported additional gun control legislation. In his ad, Manchin held a rifle and said he would continue to fight for gun rights, as well as safer communities.[26]

Response to Navy Yard shooting

After the deadly shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard on September 16, 2013, Manchin said he would not seek to reintroduce a bill calling for expanded background checks. Despite having partnered with Sen. Pat Toomey after the Newtown school shooting, Manchin's bill lost by five votes in the Senate in April 2013.[27]

Gay Marriage

Sen. Joe Manchin supported of the Defense of Marriage Act, and he was opposed to gay marriage. He was one of nine Democratic senators to oppose gay marriage. His spokesman, Katie Longo, clarified his position, saying, "Senator Manchin believes that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. His beliefs are guided by his faith, and he supports the Defense of Marriage Act."[28]

Manchin is one of only three Democratic Senators who have not voiced support for same-sex marriage, as of April 2013.[29][30]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

Manchin did not support U.S. air strikes on Syria. He said, "Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”[31]

Government shutdown

Manchin expressed his displeasure with the shutdown saying, "It’s so asinine. It’s just absolutely totally ridiculous for anyone to be in this position, thinking they can inflict this much pain on the American public and benefit by it. If anyone’s benefiting, if anyone’s sending out campaign letters, then you better find out what their real reason for being here is. What’s their purpose? Why did we come here?" Manchin did not support a debate on the debt ceiling, explaining, "I’m looking for a bigger plan. … I’m worried about my children and grandchildren, and it seems like here all we’re worried about is how we get to our next crisis. People may be talking about no negotiation. You’ve got to negotiate. That’s what we’re here to do."[32]


West Virginia State Senator

Uncle's impeachment trial

As a state senator, Manchin heard the impeachment trial of his uncle, A. James Manchin, then the State Treasurer.

Governor of West Virginia

Massey Energy

In July 2005, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship sued then-Governor Manchin alleging that he violated his First Amendment Rights by threatening to retaliate with increased government scrutiny of his coal operations.

Sago Mine disaster

During the 2006 Sago Mine disaster of early January 2006, Manchin initially appeared to confirm reports that 12 miners had survived. These reports proved to be incorrect three hours later, when it was confirmed that only one miner survived the accident. In an early-morning press conference on January 4, Manchin acknowledged that an unintentional miscommunication had occurred with rescue teams within the mine, and he stated that the incorrect information he received regarding the status of the miners was not received through official channels. Although he did not confirm the story, the press assumed he did, but it is unclear how the story was confirmed.

His handling of the Sago mine incident may have enhanced his popularity. In November 2006, SurveyUSA ranked him as one of the most popular governors in the country with a 74 percent approval rating.[33]

On February 1, 2006, Manchin ordered a stop to all coal production in the state of West Virginia pending safety checks after two more miners were killed that day in separate accidents.[34] A total of 16 West Virginia coal miners died from mining accidents in early 2006.

Iraq visit

On April 15, 2006, during an Easter visit to U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq, the governor caused a controversy by posing for photographers, while signing two missiles at Balad Air Force Base. One of the messages read, "Sending you to hell, from Almost Heaven, West Virginia." He explained his intentions to the media, stating, "I just thought, 'Hey, these are people doing tremendous harm to our people.' I wanted to send them a little message."[35] After receiving several complaints, Manchin issued an apology.



See also: United States Senate elections in West Virginia, 2012

Manchin ran for re-election in 2012. He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012 Democratic primary and defeated Republican John Raese in the November 6, 2012, general election.[1][2][36]

U.S. Senate, West Virginia General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 60.5% 391,669
     Republican John R. Raese 36.5% 236,620
     Mountain Bob Henry Baber 3% 19,232
Total Votes 647,521
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. Senate, West Virginia Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 79.9% 163,891
Sheirl Fletcher 20.1% 41,118
Total Votes 205,009


Heading into the primary, Manchin was endorsed by the West Virginia AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education.[37]

Full history


Manchin announced his intention to challenge incumbent governor Bob Wise in the 2004 Democratic Primary in May 2003; however, Wise decided not to run for re-election after a scandal, becoming the first governor not to do so since running for re-election was permitted in 1972. Manchin won both the primary and general election by large margins, and his election marked the first time that two persons of the same political party followed one another in the governor's office since 1964.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Manchin is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Manchin raised a total of $13,862,110 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[41]

Joe Manchin III's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $9,467,003
2004 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $4,395,107
Grand Total Raised $13,862,110


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Manchin won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $9,467,003 and spent $7,678,708.[42] This is less than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[43]

Cost per vote

Manchin spent $19.61 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Manchin won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $4,395,107 and spent $4,017,802.[44]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Manchin's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $3,118,070 to $7,267,000. That averages to $5,192,535, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senate members in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Manchin ranked as the 29th most wealthy senator in 2012.[45]Between 2009 and 2012, Manchin‘s calculated net worth[46] decreased by an average of 6 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[47]

Joe Manchin Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2009 to 2012:-19%
Average annual growth:-6%[48]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[49]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[50]

Manchin most often votes with:

Manchin least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Manchin is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of August 2014.[51] This was the same rating Manchin received in July 2013.[52]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Manchin missed 21 of 1,084 roll call votes from November 2010 to July 2014. This amounts to 1.9 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[53]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Manchin paid his congressional staff a total of $1,790,208 in 2011. He ranked 2nd on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 11th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, West Virginia ranked 22nd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[54]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Manchin ranked 54th in the liberal rankings in 2013.[55]


Manchin ranked 53rd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[56]


Manchin ranked 53rd in the conservative rankings in 2011.[57]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Manchin voted with the Democratic Party 72.8 percent of the time, which ranked 51st among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of August 2014.[58]


Manchin voted with the Democratic Party 69.7 percent of the time, which ranked 52nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[59]


Manchin and his wife, Gayle Conelly Manchin, have three children and seven grandchildren.[60]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Joe Manchin News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Joe Manchin


  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN, "West Virginia Senate Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. 2.0 2.1 West Virginia Metro News, "2012 Primary Results," May 8, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Manchin," accessed July 3, 2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Joe Manchin III," accessed October 14, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Official Senate website, "Committee and Subcommittee Assignments," accessed October 14, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  10., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. The Hill, "Manchin explains Yellen opposition," accessed November 21, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  21. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" accessed January 4, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 On The Issues, "Manchin Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
  23. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  24. New York Times, "Senator Manchin Takes On Democratic Party Leaders in Pursuit of a Middle Ground," accessed November 14, 2013
  25. The Hill, "Manchin calls chemical spill a 'wake-up call'," accessed January 14, 2014
  26. ABC News, "Sen. Joe Manchin Brandishes Rifle in New Anti-NRA Ad," accessed June 20, 2013
  27. Politico, "Post-Navy Yard, no new guns push from Joe Manchin," accessed September 17, 2013
  28., "Gay Marriage Rights: The 10 Democratic Senators Who Still Say No," March 2013
  29. Metro Weekly, "Bill Nelson becomes 51st senator to support same-sex marriage," accessed April 5, 2013
  30. Talking Points Memo, "Senator Tim Johnson Endorses Gay Marriage," accessed April 9, 2013
  31. Politico, "Joe Manchin, Brian Schatz ‘no’ on Syria resolution," accessed September 9, 2013
  32. Roll Call, "Vulnerable Democrats Laugh Off GOP’s Shutdown Campaign Attacks," accessed October 9, 2013
  33. Survey USA, "APPROVAL RATINGS FOR ALL 50 GOVERNORS AS OF 11/20/06," November 20, 2006
  34., "Governor asks coal mines to stop production," February 1, 2006
  35. WOWK-TV, "Governor Manchin Spends Easter In Iraq," April 16, 2006
  36. West Virginia Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Results"
  37. Herald-Dispatch, "W.Va. candidates receive endorsements," March 8, 2012
  38. Official Senate website, "Joe Manchin," accessed October 14, 2011
  39. The Hill, "Byrd's successor to take oath Tuesday," accessed October 14, 2011
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  41. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Joe Manchin," accessed April 25, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Joe Manchin 2012 Election Cycle," accessed August 16, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  44. Open Secrets, "Joe Manchin 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 26, 2011
  45. OpenSecrets, "Manchin, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  46. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  47. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  48. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  49. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  50. OpenCongress, "Joe Manchin," accessed August 8, 2013
  51. GovTrack, "Manchin," accessed August 29, 2014
  52. GovTrack, "Manchin," accessed July 3, 2013
  53. GovTrack, "Manchin," accessed August 29, 2014
  54. LegiStorm, "Joe Manchin"
  55. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," August 29, 2014
  56. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  57. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  58. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  59. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  60. Official Senate website, "Biography," accessed October 14, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Carte Goodwin
U.S. Senate - West Virginia
Succeeded by