[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/21/art.capito.file3.capito.jpg caption ="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