(CBS News) Three Democrats from West Virginia, including first-term Sen. Joe Manchin, are skipping the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this September, where President Obama will formally receive the party’s presidential nomination.
The West Virginia Democratic Party told reporters Monday that in addition to Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall do not plan to join West Virginia’s delegation. State Party Chair Larry Puccio said Sen. Jay Rockefeller will attend and will serve as the group’s honorary chair.
Mr. Obama is unpopular in the state andÂ lost 41 percent of the West Virginia primary vote to a convicted felon. Manchin — who faces his own re-election battle this year — has saidÂ he’s not sure he’ll vote for Mr. Obama.
In a statement explaining his decision to skip the convention Manchin said, “I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that’s representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation. I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election.”
The senator has opposed the president on some high-profile issues, voting with Republicans to support aÂ failed amendment to authorize construction on the Keystone pipelineÂ as well as aÂ failed amendment on the issue of contraception coverage.
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