By Mannix Porterfield
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, daughter of a former West Virginia governor, got an early jump Monday on the U.S. Senate race in 2014, saying she wants to avoid “disruptive, political speculation.”
Assuming he is interested in a sixth term, and Capito survives the Republican primary, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., would be her opponent two years from now.
Capito only this month won a sixth term in Congress in the 2nd District, claiming a landslide victory by a 70 percent majority — largest in her career.
“Voters are fatigued,” the Republican congresswoman said.
“And I think we all feel it. They have grown tired of the constant campaigning and they want us to govern. I agree it is time to focus on government. For this reason, I have decided to make my intention known for 2014 now so I can get back to work in Washington and avoid disruptive, political speculation.”
Not only that, she said, but an early announcement will allow others to plan their political futures.
Capito’s announcement came on her 59th birthday, or, as daughter Shelley quipped, “on the 30th anniversary of her 29th birthday.”
Capito actually was born on a Thanksgiving to Arch A. and Shelley Moore, and grew up in the governor’s mansion.
Moore was elected to an unprecedented three terms as governor.
“It’s reassuring to know there are leaders in West Virginia and Washington like my mom who are leading with common sense,” the candidate’s daughter told a news briefing in the Capitol’s lower rotunda.
Capito several times referred to common sense values and renewed her vow to battle the Environmental Protection Agency over its stringent enforcement of air and water regulations that have led to a dent in West Virginia’s coal production.
Capito said her “one guiding principle” is to pursue “what is right for the people of West Virginia, putting the people of West Virginia first.”
Two priorities in her sixth term in Congress are to tackle the fiscal crunch facing the nation and to “continue to stand up against the EPA’s dangerous and unconstitutional crusade to dictate our nation’s energy policy to the detriment of West Virginia,” she said, evoking a loud applause.
“The message I heard from the election is that people want us to work together and set aside short-sighted agendas and get something done,” she said.
Capito made a veiled reference to the Republican gains in the West Virginia Legislature — 46 of them will now hold seats in the House of Delegates.
“This change will be good,” she said, drawing another round of applause.
There has been no early announcement from the 75-year-old Rockefeller about seeking a sixth term. And Capito never mentioned the former two-term governor by name.
“West Virginia needs a new and diverse voice in the U.S. Senate,” she said. “A voice that can listen and can walk with others to achieve great things. The U.S. Senate needs a voice that stands for common sense and fairness. I believe I can be that voice.”
Capito said the nation’s capital can use the shared values of West Virginians — hard work and hope for the future.
“We can take our West Virginia common sense and energy into the U.S. Senate in 2014,” she said.
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