Campaign Comes Home

MOUNDSVILLE – As Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., looked through books in Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest’s office Tuesday, the Senate candidate wondered whether she would encounter any of the documents she used to look up for her father, former Gov. Arch Moore.

“I used to come up here to count votes for my dad,” Capito, a Glen Dale native, said following her courthouse tour. “It is great to connect.”

Capito is competing with Democrat Secretary of State Natalie Tennant to replace retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller. The election, which will result in West Virginia selecting its first female U.S. senator, is set for Nov. 4.

On Tuesday, Capito brought her campaign to the Northern Panhandle while promoting her “West Virginia Works” plan. Referring to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as “anti-coal,” Capito said Mountain State voters need to elect new leadership to move forward.

“West Virginia is a wonderful state full of hard-working people who always look out for each other. Our state powers America, and we are this country’s future,” she said.

“I have fought for dozens of jobs bills that have not received a vote in the U.S. Senate because of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s gridlock. These measures would protect and grow our energy jobs, create new economic opportunities, expand our infrastructure, improve our education system, care for our veterans, and make life better for families if only they could break through Harry Reid’s grip on the Senate. This November, we have a chance to change things,” Capito added.

As part of her Tuesday tour, Capito spoke with numerous employees and elected officials inside the courthouse, including Prosecutor Jeff Cramer, commissioners Don Mason and Brian Schambach, Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel, Pest and others.

Later in the day, Capito toured the Blue Racer Natrium natural gas processing plant along the Ohio River. She said the facility is an example of how the Marcellus and Utica shale industry can be part of the “all-of-the-above energy strategy.” Capito said it is important that coal-fired electricity and natural gas both continue to succeed.

“I don’t think that is a healthy competition,” she said of a potential fossil fuel rivalry.

Although she supports both natural gas drilling and coal mining, Capito said she understands the concerns some people have regarding large industry-related trucks that take up extra space on West Virginia’s narrow and winding roads. She also said she supports protecting the environment from possible contamination.

“We have been out on the roads,” she said. “We need to know what is in the trucks, and how much they weigh.”

Capito said Tuesday she had yet to hear about Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s plan to allow a company to drill and frack to natural gas under the Ohio River, as long as the winning bidder agrees to pay at least a 20 percent share of royalties. However, she said any such plan must ensure the the purity of the public water supply.

“Safety and environmentally responsible behavior need to be enforced,” she said.