Rep. Capito calls process on special election ‘contrived’

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said Tuesday she is still weighing her options when it comes to a potential bid for Senate in a November special election. But in an interview with The Hill, Capito sounded less like a potential candidate for Senate. 

While she was critical of Gov. Joe Manchin (D) and the decision-making process over the state’s open Senate seat, which she called “contrived,” Capito noted her commitment to serve out her term in the House.  

“That’s a commitment I made to the people of West Virginia,” Rep. Capito said. 

The biggest question for Capito is whether she would be able to run for reelection to the House and be a candidate for Senate in a special election at the same time. Some Republicans in the state have suggested she is reluctant to resign her seat to wage a special election bid against Manchin.

“I think I have a unique position in the [congressional] delegation,” Capito said. “I’m representing a different party and a different gender. And I’m the only one in the delegation reflecting the urgency of job creation.” 

Late Tuesday, Gov. Manchin released a draft of the legislation to amend the state’s election code to allow for a special election this November.

Capito came out in favor of a November special election last week, but has been critical of the way the state’s Democratic leadership has handled the interpretation of the state’s election code. 

If passed, the legislation would allow Manchin to call a special election for this November to fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-W.Va.) seat. A primary would be held in either August or September.

Manchin is expected to announce his own intentions for the seat after the special session is complete and after he names an interim Senator Friday.