Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Joe Manchin III (born August 24, 1947 in Farmington, West Virginia) was elected Governor of West Virginia in the 2004 election and took office on January 17,2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the scion of a large Democratic political family.
Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965. An injury in practice ended his football career before it really began. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration. He then involved himself in several family owned businesses.
Manchin received several student deferments during the Vietnam War before his football injuries changed his draft status.
He was elected to the West Virginia state legislature beginning with the House of Delegates in 1984 and moving to the State Senate in 1986 where he served until 1992. As a Senator he would have heard (along with A. James's son and Joe's cousin, Senator Mark Anthony Manchin) the impeachment trial of his uncle, A. James Manchin , then the State Treasurer, but his uncle resigned the day that the trial began.
In 1996 Manchin was a candidate for governor, but finished second among a large group of candidates in the Democratic primary election. He then ran for state Secretary of State in 2000, winning easily.
He announced his intention to challenge incumbent governor Bob Wise in the 2004 Democratic Primary late in 2002. Eventually Wise decided not to run for re-election, becoming the first governor not to do so since the practice was permited in 1972. Manchin then won both the primary and general election by large margins. His election marks the first time that two persons of the same political party have followed one another in the governor's office since 1964.
Much political speculation has surrounded Manchin's possible response should Robert C. Byrd die in office, but Manchin has consistently refused comment on the subject.
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