Once again, Sen. Joe Manchin is embarking on a “Common Sense” tour of his native West Virginia, with one leg of the two-week blitz planned in Beckley.

Since taking office, the freshman Democrat has traveled the state at times, taking the pulse of his constituents, seeing how they feel about the issues of the day, and this one tour will follow the pattern laid out earlier.

While the date isn’t in stone, an aide to Manchin said the senator will be in Beckley on the second half of his tour, probably on Jan. 17.

No specific location has been announced for the impending Beckley visit.

“For the sake of our state’s future, and our country’s future, we in West Virginia must stand up for common sense and send Washington a very strong and direct message: It’s time to stand up and work together,” Manchin said Thursday, in advance of his visit.

Manchin has been a frequent and strong critic of the partisan gridlock that has often paralyzed Congress in his first year as a senator, especially with regard to dealing with the nation’s staggering debt.

“With the dysfunction in Washington we saw last year, now is our time to put politics aside and focus on what’s best for America and the next generation — protecting our seniors, creating jobs, achieving energy independence, and rebuilding our nation,” he said.

In his tour, Manchin plans to appear at public events, town hall meetings, coffee talks, schools and senior citizen centers.

His visit gets under way Monday with a coffee event at Shoney’s in Saint Albans, followed by afternoon events at Lincoln County High School, the Lincoln Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hamlin, and the Milton Senior Citizen Center.

As has been his custom, Manchin will use one day of the tour — Tuesday — for a morning conference call with West Virginia media personnel. The interview will originate from his Charleston office.

In early afternoon, he has booked a visit to the Webster County Courthouse, and, on the following day, he will appear at the Upper Ohio Valley Family Service in Wheeling, and the Millsop Community Center in Weirton.

Thursday will be devoted to visits in Harrison and Wirt counties, and the first week will end with visits to the Roane County High School and courthouse, both in Spencer.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

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