Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito breaks a West Virginia glass ceiling, becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the Mountain State. First elected to the House in 2000, Capito hails from a prominent political family: Her father, Arch Moore, represented West Virginia in Congress and was also elected governor three times. Her political career began in the West Virginia House of Delegates, where she served two terms before seeking a congressional seat. In 2012, she was named defensive MVP of the bipartisan women’s Capitol Hill softball team. Known as the “brick wall” of third base, she is one of the team’s captains.
Politically, Capito has been something of a wildcard in Congress, befitting the mixed blue and red political strains of her home state. Conservatives have criticized her for being too centrist, and she has been at odds with the tea party movement by opposing funding cuts to various federal programs. She does not believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, but has voted to ban abortions after 20 weeks and has cast other antiabortion votes. Capito has also been a stalwart supporter of the coal industry, introducing mining safety measures and campaigning against the Environmental Protection Agency.
She lives in Charleston, W. Va., with her husband, Charles, a banking executive. The couple has two sons, a daughter and a granddaughter and grandson.