WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has announced he has switched his registration to independent.

The move on Friday raises questions about his political plans since it could help his chances should he seek elected office again in a state that has turned heavily Republican.

Manchin, 76, has often been at odds with the Democratic Party.

But he played a central role in helping President Joe Biden get a landmark climate change and health care bill over the finish line in 2022.

He says neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground and “to stay true to myself” and “put country before party,” he decided to register an an independent with no party affiliation.

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