W.Va's Capito will not seek Senate seat, sources say
By Aaron Blake
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) has decided she will not run to replace Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), three sources familiar with her plans said Tuesday night.
Capito was the favorite on the GOP side, and state legislators gained a concession in a special-election bill passed Monday that would have allowed her to run for both reelection and in the Senate race at the same time.
But, even with that fallback plan, sources tell The Fix that the she has opted not to run. That leaves Gov. Joe Manchin (D), who declared his candidacy Tuesday morning, as an even bigger favorite.
Capito's campaign could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night. She is slated to be on the radio Wednesday morning with West Virginia political analyst Hoppy Kercheval.
Republicans will now search for another candidate. Self-funding businessman John Raese is one option. Raese, who lost to Byrd in 2006 and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) in the 1980s, has expressed interest in the race and his wealth means that he wouldn't have to raise funds in such a short window of time.
The primary is set for Aug. 28, with the winners meeting Nov. 2. Candidates have until Friday to file for the race.
July 20, 2010; 11:50 PM ET
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