The Washington Post

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will run for Senate

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will announce Monday that she will run for Senate in 2014, according to someone familiar with Capito's thinking.

The news was first reported by West Virginia political expert Hoppy Kercheval.

Capito would become the first major challenger to announce a Senate campaign and should put the seat of Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) into play immediately. A recent poll showed Capito at 48 percent and Rockefeller at 44 percent in the prospective match-up.

Elizabeth Warren, left, talks with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.). (Harry Hamburg/Associated Press)

Capito, the daughter of former West Virginia governor Arch Moore (R), 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. She has flirted with statewide bids before -- including open Senate and governor's races in 2010 and 2011, respectively -- but had always passed.

It's not clear whether Rockefeller, 75, will seek another term. He is considered one of the more likely retirees in 2014, and Capito's decision should increase the pressure on him to decide sooner rather than later.

The Moore family and Rockefeller have a long and tortured history, with Arch Moore beating Rockefeller in the 1972 governor's race, Rockefeller playing a big role in beating back Moore's failed 1978 Senate campaign, and Rockefeller defeating Moore for governor in 1980. (Moore later returned to the governor's mansion after Rockefeller moved on to the Senate.)

It's unlikely that Capito will face significant opposition in the primary, but among those who have been mentioned are freshman Rep. David B. McKinley and businessman John Raese, whose lopsided loss to Sen. Joe Manchin (D) this year was his fourth loss in a Senate or gubernatorial election.

Republicans have a bevy of opportunities in red states like West Virginia in 2014. About the only other major candidate to step forward is former South Dakota governor Mike Rounds, who has opened an exploratory committee to run for the seat held by another potential retiree, Sen. Tim Johnson (D).

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.