Shelley Moore Capito, the sweetheart of the Republican Party in West Virginia and a seven-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2014 for the seat now held by Jay Rockefeller.
Over the last year or so, there has been much speculation that Rockefeller, 75, might not seek re-election for a sixth term. The former West Virginia governor and secretary of state has not said if he will seek another six years in the Senate, but with Capito, 59, announcing her candidacy and being the leading contender in any conceivable GOP primary, will that affect Rockefeller's decision to run?
Would the state and national Democratic Party leadership want to face the possibility of losing a Democratic seat if Rockefeller did not seek re-election and potentially give Capito a clear shot at the U.S. Senate? The Democrats hold a slim margin in the Senate and couldn't afford to lose a seat that has been in their hands for so long.
Without Rockefeller in the race, is there any other strong candidate in the state Democratic Party to oppose Capito?
Earlier there was speculation Capito, the daughter of former W.Va. Gov. Arch Moore, would seek the office held for multiple terms by her father, but she opted to seek re-election to the House and, as usual, won handily.
It seems very likely, judging from what groups were at Capito's Senate campaign announcement, she would be heavily supported by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Coal Association and the overall business community ... all of which means big money for her campaign coffers.
Over the years Rockefeller has enjoyed the support of labor unions, veterans and social service organizations, but would that be enough to fend off a strong Republican candidate ... especially from one seen as more of a moderate Republican than a tea party indoctrinee?
Whatever the case, a campaign between Rockefeller and Capito would present clear options for voters, hopefully without the hostility we saw in the most recent presidential, senate and gubernatorial elections. A race between Capito and Rockefeller hopefully would return to one of civility, not mudslinging and name-calling party rhetoric.
Without Rockefeller in the race, who would the Democrats put on the ticket and would that candidate stand much of a chance against Capito? It's at least a year before serious campaigning should begin and that leaves a lot of time for an unknown candidate to emerge, and for known candidates to stumble and make errors, knocking them out of the political pictures.
For the Democrats and the Republicans, it also gives them a wide open window to find viable candidates for Capito's House seat.
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The Wood County Board of Education having to postpone its meeting Tuesday evening because of a lack of a quorum was disappointing and inconvenient for the community and members of the Parkersburg High School Stadium Field committee who needed to discuss the future of the bleachers, which have been closed due to their questionable condition.
Considering the number of activities held at the stadium and the supporters of football facilities at Parkersburg South and Williamstown high schools who would be interested in what the school board intends to do at PHS in relationship to what they would want done at their facilities, the Tuesday night meeting could have been one of the larger attended ones in years.
One member of the board was recovering from surgery and his absence certainly was understandable, but the same could not be said of the other two absentees.
If one is going to seek a political office, one has the responsibility to attend its meetings.