All Eyes On Capito In West Virginia

U.S. Senate or the statehouse, Republicans are waiting to see what Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will do before making their own political plans, the chairman of the state GOP said on Thursday.

“Everybody is always waiting to see what Shelley is going to do,” Doug McKinney said.

“She obviously is the leading light in our party,” McKinney said. “She’s No. 1 in the pecking order in our party.”

Capito has been touted in political corners as the party’s standard bearer in a campaign for the U.S. Senate or for governor. Her father, Arch A. Moore Jr., was a governor of West Virginia.

She was courted by the national party to run against the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd in 2006, but decided instead to run for re-election to West Virginia’s 2nd District. Byrd died on June 28, the longest serving member in the Senate’s history.

She may have chance to run for U.S. Senate this year if the Legislature in special session changes the law to allow an election to fill Byrd’s unexpired term rather than wait until the 2012 elections, as interpreted by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

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