Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) told the Wheeling News-Register this weekend that diversity is part of why she chose to run for Senate.
"Diversity in our delegation is needed, and I am both a woman and a Republican," she said.
The congresswoman also explained why she announced her bid for Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat nearly two years before the election.
"I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I wanted to go on and make the announcement so the speculation would be over," she said. "I'm not a very good faker."
After taking heat for having no female committee chairs, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appointed Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) to lead the House Administration Committee.
Rockefeller has not announced his 2014 plans, but Capito's campaign puts the seat in play. The daughter of former West Virginia governor Arch Moore (R), Capito has long been considered the GOP’s best hope to follow in her father’s footsteps and break the Democrats’ longtime hold on statewide office.
But some conservatives have lined up to oppose Capito, arguing that she is too moderate for the GOP.