Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) is considering backing the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning as head of the Bureau of Land Management, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday, a major boost for the candidate who faces a strong opposition from the GOP due to its connection with radical environmentalists in the 1980s.
Manchin’s backing likely ensures that the energy committee he chairs will find itself in a deadlock over the Stone-Manning selection when it considers the pick on Thursday. The 10 Republicans wrote a letter last week urging President Joe Biden to give up his choice of role in a tree-priming incident perpetrated by members of the Earth First group! which was designed to stop logging in the forests of Montana.
Stone-Manning, who has since worked for decades as a senior regulator in Montana and is a former aide to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Has been fiercely defended by Democrats who argue that the GOP opposition to its selection is fueled by political motivations. His former boss, former Democratic Montana Governor Steve Bullock, unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) In 2020 for his Senate seat.