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Manchin staying put in the Senate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Tuesday that he will remain in the Senate, announcing his intentions after Donald Trump tapped Rick Perry as his energy secretary.

Perry's selection came hours after Manchin met with Trump in New York on Monday. The moderate Democrat was in the running for the energy post.

Manchin's meeting with Trump prompted retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to describe him as "running for a Cabinet spot." But Manchin sounded a warm tone about his also-ran status for Trump's inner circle, saying he "was humbled to be considered" for the job Perry got.

"I was honored that the President-elect asked me to meet with him and discuss ways we can work together and improve the lives of millions of Americans, and the hard-working people of West Virginia," Manchin said in a statement, adding: "I hope all Americans join me in working with President-elect Trump in a bipartisan way to bring our country together and make it successful."

Manchin's fellow moderate Democratic senator facing a tough reelection battle in 2018, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, remains a favorite for Trump's nomination as Agriculture secretary. But Heitkamp is facing pressure from fellow Democrats to stay in the Senate, given the high likelihood that her seat would flip to the GOP, and Reid said Monday that "I would doubt very seriously" that the North Dakotan would accept a Cabinet nod.

Among the areas Manchin singled out as ripe for collaboration with Trump next year are infrastructure, opioid assistance, tax reform, and expiring miners' benefits that prompted him to help push the government to the brink of a shutdown last week.