Joe Manchin’s wife taken to hospital after car crash

The wife of retiring West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has been taken to hospital after a car crash during a business trip.

Gayle Connelly Manchin, 76, is in a “stable condition”, the senator said on Tuesday in a statement.

“On Monday, my wife Gayle and her colleague Guy Land were involved in a car accident on the way from the airport to the hotel in Birmingham, Alabama for an Appalachian Regional Commission event that was planned for today,” Mr Manchin said.

“Both were admitted to UAB Hospital and are receiving excellent care. She remains in stable condition but will stay there for a couple of days for precautionary measures,” he said before thanking “the first responders who answered the call and were first on-site to provide assistance and support”.

Gayle Conelly Manchin (L) and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Weekend Pre-Party hosted by The New Yorker’s David Remnick at the W Hotel Washington DC on May 2, 2014 in Washington, DC

(Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Ms Conelly Manchin, served as first lady of West Virginia when Mr Manchin was governor between 2005 and 2010. She’s currently the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Between 2017 and 2018, she was the state’s secretary of education and the arts under GOP Governor Jim Justice, and from 2013 until the following year, she served as the president of the state’s board of education.

Mr Manchin announced in November that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election, almost certainly handing his seat to the Republicans in the deep-red state. He has said that he’s considering a run for president, with observers saying that Mr Manchin running as an independent could hand the White House to former President Donald Trump.

In October, he told the press that “the two-party system, unless it changes, will be the downfall of our country”.

This month, he told the press that “if there’s going to be an option or a need for an option, you’ll find out by then” in reference to Super Tuesday in early March.

“By March, you’re going to have pretty much a lay of the land and what you’re going to have and what you’re going to be offered,” he added.

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