Via Robert Costa, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito won't run for the West Virginia Senate seat recently held by Robert Byrd. Here's Capito's statement:
Even though this is an extraordinary situation, running for two offices simultaneously is not who I am as a person. More importantly, this is not about me, but what is right for the people of West Virginia. Over the last 11 years and through five tough campaigns, I have built a relationship with voters based on trust and hard work, and I never want to diminish that bond. There are also still many legal and practical questions regarding a person’s ability to run for two offices.
There has been enough unnecessary chaos and controversy surrounding the vacancy in the U.S. Senate. My candidacy would create more uncertainty, invite a legal challenge, and misrepresent my priorities as a public servant. The outcome could ultimately place my re-election to the House of Representatives in jeopardy and would leave the final decision in the hands of state officials rather than the voters.
West Virginians are fair minded people who understand the importance of fulfilling their obligations. I intend to stick to my commitments to the people of the 2nd District because it is in the best interest of our state. For these reasons, I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate this year, and with the voters support, I intend to serve my full term in the House of Representatives and not run for any other office until 2012.
As Costa notes, "This leaves the GOP scrambling for a candidate and Gov. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) as the frontrunner to win in November."