Manchin to co-chair No Labels group

WASHINGTON – A West Virginia senator will be an honorary chairman of a national group aimed at changing how business is done in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsman, former Republican governor of Utah, will co-chair No Labels, a national citizen-led effort to change attitudes in Washington and make Congress work.

“At this moment in our history, working to bridge the partisan divide is both the principled and patriotic thing to do,” said No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston. “Gov. Huntsman and Sen. Manchin can play a critical role in building support across the country for our parties coming together.”

Manchin, a Democrat, has crossed party lines and voted with the Republicans.

“We need to fix our politics from the inside, but we need help from the outside,” Manchin said. “No Labels is the only organization out there that can bring people together to demand that both parties put the country’s needs ahead of politics. No Labels can set a whole new standard of what’s expected from our national leaders. But we need Americans to help us and demand better than what we’re getting now.”

Manchin and Huntsman will make their first public appearance as the national chairmen on Monday at a leadership event in New York.

Manchin and Huntsman will be host of more than 1,300 No Labels members, including private citizens and elected officials, at the Meeting to Make America Work. The gathering will feature dozens of House and Senate members from all across the country who not only are willing to reach across the political divide to address the major issues but are also committed to meeting regularly as “problem solvers.”

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Manchin and Huntsman will hold a conference call with West Virginia reporters to outline their agenda.

“This is a great honor to be asked to work with Jon Huntsman to help No Labels become a catalyst for the big changes we need in Washington,” Manchin said. “Jon and I come from different parties, but we come from the same background as governors, where you don’t worry about politics you worry about your state and its people.”

Manchin was governor of West Virginia before his election to the Senate in 2010.

“As governors, both Jon Huntsman and Joe Manchin developed well-earned reputations as problem solvers,” said No Labels co-founder Mark McKinnon. “That’s precisely the attitude we need more of in Washington and these two leaders will be great advocates and spokesmen for our movement.”