sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) plans to support Tracy Stone-Manning’s appointment to lead the Bureau of Land Management, a spokesman confirmed Monday, a major boost for the nominee who faces strong GOP opposition because of her association with radical environmentalists in the 1980s.
Manchin’s support is likely to leave the Energy Committee he chairs stuck in the Stone-Manning roster as it considers the choice on Thursday. All 10 Republicans wrote a letter last week urging President Joe Biden to opt out of her choice for her role in a tree incident by members of the group Earth First! that was designed to stop logging in the forests of Montana.
Stone-Manning, who has spent decades as a senior supervisor in Montana and former aide to Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), has been vehemently defended by Democrats who argue that the GOP’s opposition to her selection is fueled by political motivations. . Her former boss, Democratic former Montana governor Steve Bullock, unsuccessfully challenged Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for his Senate seat in 2020.