Ahead of a tough slate of 2016 gubernatorial races, the leaders of the Democratic Governors Association tweaked Washington's slow governing pace and said that they are closely watching two incumbent, red-state U.S. senators who could run for their states' top slots.
The 2015 DGA chair, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and his vice-chair and designated successor for 2016, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, spent part of their Saturday at the National Governors Association meetings in Washington showering praise on Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp. Manchin served as governor of West Virginia before running for Senate in 2010 and has expressed interest in running again, while Heitkamp once ran for governor of North Dakota and has been the subject of gubernatorial rumors at home for months—rumors she declined to address directly when asked in January.
"We don't really have a read" on Manchin potentially running for governor of West Virginia again, Malloy said. "I mean, the fact that he is considering it obviously is significant. He continues to be immensely popular in his state so I think that certainly would make that a much easier state to defend if he was to become a candidate. I think if he wants to be governor and he runs, then he's going to be governor."