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In race for his Senate seat, Joe Manchin endorses West Virginia Democratic Mayor Glenn Elliott

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In race for his Senate seat, Joe Manchin endorses West Virginia Democratic Mayor Glenn Elliott
News

News

In race for his Senate seat, Joe Manchin endorses West Virginia Democratic Mayor Glenn Elliott

2024-04-22 22:23 Last Updated At:22:30

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin endorsed the mayor of Wheeling on Monday in the Democratic primary race for his seat representing deep-red West Virginia, where Manchin is the only Democrat holding statewide office.

In a video released by Democrat Glenn Elliott's campaign, Manchin described Elliott as a man with the “determination, the vigor and vitality" to do the work required in the U.S. Senate. He praised Elliott's record of creating jobs, lowering the crime rate and revitalizing the downtown of the city of around 26,000 on the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

“Glenn will always fight for West Virginia, and will put our country and our state before the bickering and pettiness of the partisan politics of Washington, D.C.," Manchin said.

Manchin, 76, announced late last year he would not run for reelection in 2024, saying the growing animosity between political parties in Congress is dividing the country and exacerbating its challenges.

His decision to step down hampered Democratic hopes of holding on to the coal country seat and marks the end of an era for West Virginia, which voted reliably blue for decades before flipping red and becoming one of former President Donald Trump’s most loyal states.

Elliott, a lawyer who launched his bid for the open seat in January and has served as Wheeling mayor since 2016, said he knows it will be an uphill climb for the Senate seat Manchin has occupied since 2010. To win the Democratic nomination May 14, he must edge out opponents Marine Corps veteran Zach Shrewsbury and ex-coal executive Don Blankenship.

The Democratic nominee would then face either Republican Gov. Jim Justice or U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney in the general election.

Elliott, who served as a legislative assistant to the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, said he's a Democrat because of an intrinsic identification with “the underdog,” and a belief that unions built the American middle class and separated the U.S. economy from other nations in the mid-20th century.

But Elliott said he, like Manchin, is not afraid to speak out against proposals from his party he doesn't think are best for West Virginia.

Elliott said he supports much of what U.S. President Joe Biden has done during his administration, especially the passage of economic development spending packages like the bipartisan infrastructure bill. That legislation gave Wheeling $33 million to revamp its downtown streetscape.

Elliott said Trump’s success speaks to how frustrated West Virginians are that, “they don’t feel like Washington is listening to them — and they’re not entirely wrong.”

“This part of the country is called flyover country for a reason — people often disregard us," Elliott said. "And I think a lot of West Virginians feel like they’ve been talked down to, ignored.”

An earlier version this report had an incorrect year for when Manchin was first elected to the Senate seat.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott speaks during the 10th Annual Wheeling Police Department Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony at Wheeling Heritage Port in Wheeling, W.Va., on May 18, 2023. Outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin endorsed the on Monday, April, 22, 2024, in the Democratic primary race for his seat representing deep-red West Virginia, where Manchin is currently the only Democrat holding statewide office. (Eric Ayres/The Intelligencer via AP)

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott speaks during the 10th Annual Wheeling Police Department Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony at Wheeling Heritage Port in Wheeling, W.Va., on May 18, 2023. Outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin endorsed the on Monday, April, 22, 2024, in the Democratic primary race for his seat representing deep-red West Virginia, where Manchin is currently the only Democrat holding statewide office. (Eric Ayres/The Intelligencer via AP)

PARIS (AP) — Even Carlos Alcaraz couldn't tell you exactly what's been wrong with his right forearm, the part of his body that is responsible for his thunderous forehands — and also is responsible for sidelining him during nearly all of April and May as the French Open approached.

He knows this much: “I'm a little bit scared about hitting every forehand 100%.”

Alcaraz, a two-time major champion, is just one of the top players in men's tennis who enters the year's second Grand Slam tournament with some doubts about what form they will be in when competition begins at Roland Garros on Sunday.

Jannik Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January, hasn't played at all in May because of a bad hip that forced him to pull out of the Madrid Open before the quarterfinals and skip the Italian Open entirely.

Defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic, he of the No. 1 ranking and 24 Grand Slam titles, had only played eight matches since January by the time he lost his second contest in Rome, so took the unusual-for-him step of entering the lower-tier Geneva Open this week to prepare on clay — and lost in the semifinals there Friday to 44th-ranked Tomas Machac.

With 14-time champion Rafael Nadal about to turn 38, just 7-4 this season after hip and abdominal injuries and no longer the near-lock for the title he used to be in Paris, it's anyone's guess what'll happen over the coming two weeks.

Then again, Alcaraz is not taking anything for granted.

“It doesn’t matter (if Sinner is) coming from an injury. I think he has the capacity to come here and play in such a high level and be able to win it. Same as Rafa; same as Djokovic,” Alcaraz said. "Probably we don’t see them playing at (their) best tennis, but it’s a Grand Slam, it’s Roland Garros, and I think they have chances to win the tournament.”

As for his arm, the good news is Alcaraz says he doesn't have discomfort.

Even if the precise nature of what's been wrong escapes him.

“When I do the tests, when I’m talking with the doctors, my team, they explain to me what I have. ... I listen to them, but I forget,” Alcaraz said with his trademark wide smile. “What I remember is they told me that this is not going to be serious, it’s not going to take too much time. But here we are, recovering. I’m not feeling any pain in the practices when I step on the court. But I’m still thinking about it when I'm hitting forehands.”

There is a lot to like about the way Coco Gauff plays tennis, of course. That's why she enters the French Open as the No. 3 seed and the reigning champion of the U.S. Open.

It's not all perfect, of course. And among the things Gauff has been working on lately is her serve, particularly her second serve, in order to try to avoid accumulating the high double-fault counts she's had recently.

During the clay-court circuit that leads into the major that begins Sunday at Roland Garros, Gauff has double-faulted 92 times across 10 matches, an average of 9.2. Hardly ideal.

That total came from 45 double-faults in five matches in Rome — where she reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek — 24 in three matches in Madrid, and 23 in two matches in Stuttgart.

How Gauff fares with that aspect of her game could affect how far she can make it this time in Paris, where the 20-year-old American was the runner-up to Swiatek in 2022.

“I have been trying to improve it with every tournament, from the start of the clay to Rome,” she said Friday.

“I feel like it’s getting better, but it’s obviously a shot that I feel is tough to change just because, when you’re tight or whatever, you kind of revert back to what you know works,” Gauff said. “Sometimes it’s tough to push yourself to do the uncomfortable things which you know in the long term are better for you.”

The first time Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka played each other came at a Davis Cup match in 2005. Murray was 18; Wawrinka 20. When they meet each other for the 23rd time — in the first round of the French Open on Sunday — Murray will be 37 and Wawrinka 39, and each is a three-time major champion.

“I smiled at the draw, of course,” Wawrinka said Friday.

It is a showdown that would have garnered headlines when they were in their primes. Still could draw a good crowd, not so much for what both are capable of these days, but where both have been.

“Should be a brilliant atmosphere,” said Murray, who is recovering from a serious ankle injury that kept him out of action for the better part of two months.

There's this oddity involved with the matchup: This will be the fourth consecutive French Open appearance for Murray that will feature a match against Wawrinka. Murray beat Wawrinka in the 2016 semifinals in Paris, lost to him in the 2017 semifinals, then missed the 2018 and 2019 editions, lost to Wawrinka in the first round in 2020, and did not make it to Roland Garros in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Murray points to his five-set loss to Wawrinka seven years ago as the final match his hip could take before requiring the first of two operations.

“My hip was in so much pain. I remember, we were staying in a house near here and I remember getting up in the night because I couldn’t sleep. I was just lying on the sofa in loads of pain. Never recovered,” Murray said. “I couldn’t extend my leg behind me anymore properly after that match. It was a shame.”

Murray vs. Wawrinka in 2020 was the first time two men with Grand Slam titles faced off in the first round at Roland Garros since Yevgeny Kafelnikov against Michael Chang in 1999. They'll do it again Sunday.

Howard Fendrich has been the AP’s tennis writer since 2002. Find his stories here: https://apnews.com/author/howard-fendrich

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a ball to Anna Kalinskaya, of Russia, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a ball to Anna Kalinskaya, of Russia, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, left, applauds for Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, after Murray won the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, left, applauds for Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, after Murray won the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, right, shakes hands with Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka after their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 3, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

FILE - Britain's Andy Murray, right, shakes hands with Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka after their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 3, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

FILE - Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, left, and Britain's Andy Murray pose before their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

FILE - Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, left, and Britain's Andy Murray pose before their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Coco Gauff of the United States, left, shakes hands with Poland's Iga Swiatek during a semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Coco Gauff of the United States, left, shakes hands with Poland's Iga Swiatek during a semi final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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