Before she even announced her West Virginia Senate campaign, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is facing opposition from the powerful anti-tax Club for Growth.
In a statement, club president Chris Chocola pointed to numerous votes that make Capito unpalatable to the conservative economic group, including her support for campaign finance reform, the auto bailout, "Cash for Clunkers," a deal to raise the debt ceiling, and No Child Left Behind.
"Congresswoman Capito has a long record of support of bailouts, pork, and bigger government,” Chocola said. "That’s not the formula for GOP success in U.S. Senate races.” He compared Capito to establishment Republicans who fell short in November -- Rep. Denny Rehberg in Montana, Rep. Rick Berg in North Dakota and former Rep. Heather Wilson in New Mexico.
Democrats have long had a lock on statewide office in West Virginia, despite its conservative lean. Capito, the daughter of former West Virginia governor Arch Moore (R), has long been considered the GOP’s best hope to break that hold.
"West Virginia needs a new and diverse voice in the United States Senate, a voice that can listen and can walk with others to achieve great things," Capito said Monday as she announced her bid from the State Capitol. "I believe that I can be that voice." She said she was announcing early "to avoid disruptive, political speculation."
It remains to be seen whether Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) will run again, but a recent poll suggests Capito would give him a very tough race.