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Gayle Manchin nominated to be federal co-chair of Appalachian Regional Commission

Gayle Manchin, an educator and wife of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has been nominated to serve as the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the White House said in a news release Friday.

The commission is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments working toward strengthening economic growth in Appalachia.

Manchin previously served as West Virginia’s secretary of education and the arts. She was fired from that position by Republican Gov. Jim Justice after she issued a statement calling on the governor to veto legislation that would eliminate the state’s Office of Education and the Arts and offered to resign.

She served as West Virginia’s first lady from 2005 to 2010 when her husband was governor of the state. Manchin was appointed to serve on the on the West Virginia board of education from 2007 to 2015 and was the board’s president for the last two years.

Manchin directed the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows in the state and is the chair of an American Federation of Teachers initiative serving rural West Virginia, the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, Inc., according to the White House.

A longtime educator, Manchin has worked in Marion County Schools, was a faculty member at Fairmont State University and was the director of the university’s first community service learning program, the White House said in the statement.

Her husband, Joe Manchin, is a moderate Democrat whose support is critical to the White House in a Senate that is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. If Manchin or other Democratic senators break with the White House on certain initiatives, it could limit the scope of Biden’s agenda.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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