Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Meets with Community Leaders in Wheeling
WHEELING — Bringing high-speed internet access to even the most remote corners of West Virginia is crucial to rebuilding the state’s economy, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told a group of business leaders Thursday in Wheeling.
Capito, R-W.Va., traveled around the Northern Panhandle Thursday, speaking with area leaders and community members in Wheeling and Marshall County.
For her morning stop at the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, Capito touched on her opinions regarding West Virginia’s job outlook and prospects for its youth.
“With the downturn of the coal industry and the job loss that we’ve had and economic implications of that in terms of the state and local level, (it has) caused us to re-examine where West Virginia is. …That’s why I talk about Capito Connect and the digital divide,” Capito said, referring to her push for federal funding to expand broadband access in the Mountain State. “We have to get West Virginia connected with high-speed internet access, small business development and how we can keep our young people in West Virginia, which is a big concern for me, as well.”
Capito also discussed the state’s much-debated right-to-work law, passed by the GOP-led state Legislature this year.
“The way I look at it is, there’s no better time to try new things than when you’re sort of in the position that we’re in. For the Legislature and right-to-work, whether you like it or not, if we keep doing the same old thing we’re going to keep getting the same old, same old,” Capito said. “We will see if it’s benefiting us and if it’s not, we can adjust. I know that was controversial in certain areas and this is one of the areas where maybe it is controversial. I think we should give it a chance and see what happens.”
She also addressed a question regarding whether she would vote to confirm President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“I have not met him, so here’s how I see his nomination right now: I’ve said we should let the next Congress decide, regardless of what that Congress is going to be,” Capito said. “I know he’s very well-thought-of and has a lot of support from both sides of the aisle. Because of the timing of the nomination and the huge issues at stake, I’m going to be looking at constitutionality and where I think he would fit into that.”
Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce President Erikka Storch, also a Republican state delegate, said the meeting was beneficial.
“She has just come from the Republican convention in Cleveland, so anytime we have the opportunity to hear her perspective on what she has seen and get an update for our community, obviously that’s beneficial to them,” Storch said. “Today gave them the opportunity for an informal roundtable and that can help them with their planning they’re trying to make for their businesses going forward.”
In Marshall County, Capito toured the former West Virginia Penitentiary, the Cockayne Farmstead, the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex and Grand Vue Park’s new Aerial Adventure attraction. At Grave Creek Mound, Capito helped unveil a new exhibit showcasing artifacts recovered from 10 historic Mountain State sites.
Grave Creek Mound Site Manager Jeremy Kohus said Capito’s visit was especially significant due to her family history.
“Her father, former Gov. Arch Moore, is the one who helped build our site,” Kohus said. “After her speech today, the exhibit, featuring 10 historic sites in West Virginia, will be open to the public.”