- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says following his latest talk with President-elect Donald Trump that he will remain in the Senate.

Manchin, in a statement Tuesday, says he was “humbled to be considered for the secretary of energy position,” but he can best serve the state as a senator.

Manchin, whose state voted overwhelmingly for Trump last month, said he can best serve the Mountaineer State in the Senate. Manchin is up for re-election in 2018.

Manchin’s comments came after reports that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been selected to run the Energy Department.

West Virginia has a troubled coal industry Trump has promised to help.

Manchin says he’s committed to working with Trump’s administration to find ways to pass his bill to protect union miners’ health care and pensions, address the opioid crisis that’s hit West Virginia especially hard, rebuild infrastructure, fix the tax code and build the economy.

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