July 21st, 2010
10:06 AM ET
4 years ago

Capito says no to Senate bid

West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is expected to announce that she won’t run for the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat.
West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is expected to announce that she won’t run for the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat.

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia announced Wednesday that she won't run this autumn for the late Sen. Robert Bryd's seat.

"I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate this year, and with the voters support, I intend to serve my full term in the House of Representatives and not run for any other office until 2012," Capito said in a statement.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin announced Tuesday that he is running for the seat.

Manchin's announcement came one day after the West Virginia state legislature approved a plan to hold a special election in November to fill Byrd's seat. Late Monday night, Manchin - a popular two-term Democratic governor - signed the measure after a compromise worked out by state lawmakers won final approval. The primary contests will be August 28 and the general election for Byrd's successor will take place as part of the congressional mid-term contests on November 2.

The 92 year-old Byrd, the longest serving senator in the nation's history, died last month. Friday Manchin named attorney and political confidante Carte Goodwin to temporarily fill Byrd's seat. Goodwin was expected to be sworn into the Senate later Tuesday afternoon. He has indicated he will not run in the special election.

The compromise worked out by state lawmakers would allow Capito, a five-term congresswoman, to run in the special election for Byrd's seat as well as run for re-election for her House seat.

"Even though this is an extraordinary situation, running for two offices simultaneously is not who I am as a person," added Capito. "There has been enough unnecessary chaos and controversy surrounding the vacancy in the U.S. Senate. My candidacy would create more uncertainty, invite a legal challenge, and misrepresent my priorities as a public servant. The outcome could ultimately place my re-election to the House of Representatives in jeopardy and would leave the final decision in the hands of state officials rather than the voters."

Without Capito in the race, winning back a Senate seat held for more than half a century by the Democrats becomes harder for the GOP. But even without Capito, Republicans think a battle against Manchin can be competitive.

"In a state where Barack Obama has a 35 percent approval rating, we're certainly not going to just cede this race" the Republican source tells CNN.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Shelley Moore Capito • West Virginia
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    All the WVA state demorats are be laying down for Obama Zombie Manchin

    July 21, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. w l jones

    The late senator Byrd were an intitution in that seat. less keep it in his memories. Said enough.

    July 21, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Maybe she is smart enough to know that she is good where she is. It could also be that the current governor that plans on running is just too hard for her to beat.

    July 21, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. scott

    she is a punk!she knows she dont have a chance.west virginia is a democrat state n every way except not n the presidentual election.over 70 percent of the state house and senate is democrat.congresswomen capito is the only republi 2 get elected 2 a federal office n my lifetime from that state because her daddy was governor a long time ago

    July 21, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. D.

    She will run for Governor to be just like her Father.

    July 21, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. MONUMENTAL TRUTH

    Is ther a Republican or a Tea Party candidate running. Why where they not mentioned or do you need to go to Fox for the truthful news?

    July 21, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. WV Resident

    I am glad the Ms. Moore Capito will not be pursuing this seat. There is not much she has done for the Eastern Panhandle as our representative and she would not do much for the state. She voted against the stimulus but proudly steps forward to take credit for jobs that were created as part of the stimulus money received by our great state.

    July 21, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. GI Joe

    Darn – she and ex-Gov Arch Moore (her daddy) have so many skeletons, I was looking forward to them coming out in a national race.

    July 21, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Lucas Breen

    Manchin is a very solid guy. Why should she fall on a sword for the Republican Senatorial Committee when she has a good career in the House?

    It's a no brainer.

    July 21, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    This is too bad. The citizens of West Virginia need someone who does not follow the liberal/progressive philosophy of Obama. Under the current regime, West Virginia will remain poor...and therefore somehow, paradoxically, vote for the democrats and liberals will promise to save them through MORE entitlements and a MORE hostile environment for job creating businesses. In truth, the left-leaning politicians WANT them to remain poor, entitled, and dependent...so they will continue to vote the way they do.

    July 21, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |