West Virginia has proven a tough nut to crack for Republicans in statewide races in recent cycles — a disappointing 43 percent in a special Senate election in 2010, garnering 47 percent in a special gubernatorial election in 2011, finishing with 45 percent in 2012′s regular gubernatorial election. However, the state has become reliably Republican in presidential elections, and they picked up a U.S. House seat in 2010, when Dave McKinley beat Mike Oliverio; McKinley won easily with redrawn district lines this November.
This morning, West Virginia Republicans know they’ve got at least one veteran contender in the 2014 Senate race:
West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce Monday morning that she is running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
Capito has long considered a run for the Senate, and passed on the most recent opportunity following the death of long-time Senator Robert Byrd. She’s expected to say, among other things, that the timing is now right for her run.The announcement sets up a potential race between two West Virginia political heavyweights. Rockefeller, 75, is serving his fifth term in the Senate. Prior to that he served two terms as Governor . . .
Rockefeller has indicated that he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but there continues to be speculation that he may retire at the end of this term.
Elected to the U.S. House in 2000, Capito is the first woman elected to Congress from West Virginia “in her own right,” meaning not as a widow of a member of Congress. She has a lifetime ACU rating of 70.27, with a score of 82 in 2011, the most recent completed year.