With Joe Manchin announcing he will not seek reelection to his U.S. Senate seat, West Virginia Republicans are poised after 2024 to hold all offices elected on a statewide ballot for the first time in nearly 100 years. In 1928, Herbert Hoover topped the GOP ticket in the state with a 17.4-point victory with Henry Hatfield unseating Democratic U.S. Senator Matthew Neely by 1.5 points. [Republican Guy Goff was sworn into the state’s Class II seat in March 1925]. Also victorious that cycle were Republicans William Conley for Governor (by 7.6 points), Secretary of State George Sharp for a second term (11.5 points), Edgar Lawson for Auditor (9.9 points), Treasurer William Johnson for a fourth term (9.4 points), Attorney General Howard Lee for a second term (10.0 points), Agricultural Commissioner John Smith for a second term (10.5 points), and William Cook for State Superintendent of Free Schools (7.6 points). Manchin is the last Democrat to win statewide office for the party in West Virginia.


  1. Connor Cobb on November 20, 2023 at 8:44 am

    And 2024 will give WV an all GOP congressional delegation for the 1st time since 1923.

  2. John Chessant on November 27, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    A remarkable turn from just 20 years ago, when Democrats held all statewide elected offices (as well as 2 of the 3 U.S. House seats) going into the 2004 elections:

    *U.S. senators: Robert Byrd (D) and Jay Rockefeller (D)
    *governor: Bob Wise (D)
    *secretary of state: Joe Manchin (D)
    *attorney-general: Darrell McGraw (D)
    *auditor: Glen Gainer III (D)
    *treasurer: John Perdue (D)
    *agriculture commissioner: Gus Douglass (D)

    Of these, McGraw lost re-election in 2012 and Perdue lost re-election in 2020. Rockefeller retired and was succeeded by a Republican in 2015. Douglass retired and was succeeded by a fellow Democrat who held the post for one term before losing re-election in 2016. Gainer resigned in 2016; a Republican was elected later that year and took over from Gainer’s interim Democratic successor in 2017.

    The office of secretary of state flipped to GOP control in the 2004 election with Manchin running for governor and Betty Ireland defeating Manchin’s predecessor Ken Hechler. Natalie Tennant won back the post for the Democrats in 2008 but lost re-election in 2016.

    The governorship passed to Manchin in 2005 [after he defeated Wise in the primary], then to Earl Ray Tomblin in 2010, and finally to Jim Justice in 2017, before flipping to GOP control when Justice switched parties in August 2017.

    This leaves only the class 1 senate seat that is still in Democratic hands; after Byrd died in 2010, an interim Democratic senator held the seat for a few months before Manchin was elected later that year. Manchin is retiring and will, in all likelihood, be succeeded by a Republican in 2025.

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