By Carole on Jul 21, 2010
Even after a compromise was reached by the state legislature allowing US Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) to run both for the Senate and a sixth term in the House, Ms. Capito has decided she will not run to replace the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia).
In a statement released this morning Ms. Capito said, "There has been enough unnecessary chaos and controversy surrounding the vacancy in the US Senate. My candidacy would create more uncertainty, invite a legal challenge, and misrepresent my priorities as a public servant." No doubt she was referring to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee charges of "political opportunism" due to the compromise that allowed her to seek both offices in November. (source)
With the filing deadline to run just two days away, is there a viable Republican candidate who can take advantage of the anti-incumbent, anti-Obama sentiment spreading across West Virginia and run against Governor Joe Manchin (D) in the November 2 special election? John Raese, a Morgantown industrialist and former Republican Party chair says he is considering a run. (source) While Mr. Raese has lost two previous Senate bids, he does have a personal fortune large enough to self-finance a serious campaign quickly.
Last week Mr. Raese told reporters he would have a pro-business, low-tax, low-regulation platform that would emphasize spending cuts and be similar to the one he ran on in his last campaign saying, "The message today I was trying to run on resonates a bit more than in 2006." (source)
Considering Representative Capito has always been a moderate Republican, her decision that allows a turn toward the much more conservative Mr. Raese could be the best thing for the voters of West Virginia and the US Senate.
UPDATE: Ken Hechler, a 95 year old Democrat who has held a number of political offices in West Virginia since 1958, has filed to run in his party's Senate primary against Governor Joe Manchin. Mr. Hechler represents the progressive wing of the Democratic Party while Governor Manchin is more conservative. (source)
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