Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin registers as independent, citing 'partisan extremism'

FILE-Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during an event at the New Hampshire Institute Politics at St. Anselm College on January 12, 2024, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has registered as an independent, creating speculation regarding his political future. 

Manchin said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that over the past 15 years, he has seen both major political parties leave their constituents behind "for partisan extremism while jeopardizing our democracy."

Manchin didn’t reveal if he will continue caucusing with Democrats in the Senate, or if he will run for political office down the road. 

RELATED: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin rules out presidential run in 2024

A person knowledgeable of the situation told the Associated Press that Manchin has wanted to change political party affiliation for a while to be an independent.

According to the AP, candidates are required to file with their affiliation 60 days before the Aug. 1 deadline in West Virginia to run in the 2024 election. If the Senate candidates stumble, Manchin could attempt to keep his seat or run for governor.

RELATED: Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, says he won’t seek reelection in 2024

Manchin said last year he wouldn’t push for reelection to the Senate in West Virginia, making Republicans favorites to gain a seat in their campaign to retake the majority in 2025. 

The West Virginia politician has had disagreements with the Democratic Party and is a critic of President Joe Biden’s legislative priorities.

Manchin entered the Senate after winning a special election following the death of Robert C. Byrd. The AP noted that Manchin won reelection in 2012 and 2018. 

He has served in the Senate since 2010 and also serves as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.