Shelley Moore Capito

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Shelley Moore Capito
Shelley Moore Capito official Senate photo.jpg
United States Senator
from West Virginia
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with Joe Manchin
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Bob Wise
Succeeded by Alex Mooney
Personal details
Born Shelley Wellons Moore
(1953-11-26) November 26, 1953 (age 62)
Glen Dale, West Virginia, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charles Capito
Children Charles
Alma mater Duke University (B.S.)
University of Virginia (M.Ed.)
Religion Presbyterianism

Shelley Wellons Moore Capito (born November 26, 1953) is the junior United States Senator from West Virginia. She was a member of the United States House of Representatives for West Virginia's 2nd congressional district from 2001 until her election to the Senate in 2014.

She is a member of the Republican Party and a daughter of West Virginia governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. Capito was the only Republican in the West Virginia congressional delegation until 2011 and the first Republican woman elected to Congress from West Virginia. Capito was elected to the United States Senate in the 2014 U.S. Senate election in West Virginia, becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in the history of West Virginia[1] and the first Republican to win a full term in the Senate from West Virginia since 1942.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Capito was born Shelley Wellons Moore in Glen Dale, West Virginia, the daughter of Shelley (née Riley) and Arch Alfred Moore, Jr., who served three terms as the state's Governor. A resident of Charleston, Capito was educated at the Holton-Arms School, Duke University, and the University of Virginia.[2] She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.[3] and represented the state of West Virginia as the 1972 Cherry Blossom Princess.[4]

Capito was elected to the 31st district of the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1996 and served two terms from December 1, 1996 to December 1, 2000. The district included a portion of the Charleston area. Capito was named Minority Chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee and a member of the Judiciary and Banking and Insurance Committees.

She is married to Charles L. Capito and they have three children: sons Charles and Moore and daughter Shelley.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

The district she represented, the Second District of West Virginia, stretches from the Ohio River in the west to the Eastern Panhandle, which borders with Virginia and Maryland.



When 2nd district U.S. Congressman Bob Wise ran for governor in 2000, Capito decided to run and she won the Republican nomination. She narrowly defeated millionaire asbestos lawyer Jim Humphreys 48%–46%.[6] She was the first Republican to represent West Virginia in Congress since 1983, as well as the first woman elected to Congress from West Virginia in her own right.


She won re-election to a second term, defeating Humphreys in rematch 60%–40%. She won every county in the district except Braxton.[7] She became the first West Virginia Republican to win reelection to Congress since her father, who represented the 1st district in the state's northern region from 1957 to 1969.


She won re-election to a third term, defeating former newscaster Erik Wells 57%–42%.[8]


Capito was mentioned as a possible challenger to Senator Robert Byrd in 2006, but opted to run for re-election to her House seat. She won re-election to a fourth term, defeating the state's Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Callaghan, 57%–43%. She won all but two counties: Braxton and Clay.[9]


Capito won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Anne Barth, a longtime former aide to U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, 57%–43%. She won all but two counties: Braxton and Jefferson.[10]


During the 2010 election cycle, she was mentioned as a Republican candidate to challenge Joe Manchin for the vacated United State Senate seat of the late Robert C. Byrd. Capito ultimately decided against a Senate bid, pointing out that, even though the West Virginia Legislature passed a law allowing her to run for both her House seat and the U.S. Senate, "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."[11]

Capito won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Lynch Graf,[12] 68%–30%.[13] For the first time in her career, she won all 18 counties of the district.


After redistricting, Capito was challenged in the Republican primary for the first time in her career. Capito said she planned on fighting to "dismantle the federal health care overhaul and challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."[14] She defeated Delegate Jonathan Miller and Michael Davis 83%–11%–6%.[15]

She won re-election to a seventh term, defeating former gubernatorial aide Howard Swint, 70%–30%.[16][17]


Capito Congressional photo 2013

Since being in Congress, Capito has voted with her party 93% of the time.[18] As of 2012, she had a lifetime rating of 70 from the American Conservative Union.[19] She is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.

In June 2003, Capito introduced the Family Fairness in Taxing Act of 2003. The bill would accelerate the increase to the child tax credit, increase the qualification age for children, and revise refundability criteria for the credit.[20]

In May 2008, Capito voted for the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (commonly called the new G.I. Bill), which expanded the educational benefits for military veterans who have served since September 11, 2001.[21]

In January 2009, Capito voted to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as part of its re-authorization. The expanded coverage would include about four million more children in the program.[22]

Capito served on the House Page Board during the Mark Foley congressional page incident, but wasn't made aware of Foley's conduct until informed by the press.[23][24]

Capito voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act) in March 2010.

In December 2010, Capito voted to extend the tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.[25]

Capito voted for the Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment of 2011.[26]

Capito has been a staunch advocate for the mining industry. In December 2011, she sponsored the Mine Safety Accountability and Improved Protection Act. The bill would establish an independent National Mine Safety Board, require mine inspections to be conducted when miners are present, and specify requirements for dealing with mines with a pattern of safety violations.[27] In May 2013, she introduced the Coal Jobs Protection Act of 2013. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to base a determination on approving a new or renewed permit covering discharges from a structure only on regulations issued by the permitting authority.[28]

Capito supports a federal prohibition on online poker. In 2006, she cosponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act,[29] and supported H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[30]

Capito opposes legislation aimed at capping greenhouse gas emissions.[31] In January 2010 she reportedly asked the president if he would reconsider "job-killing" policies like limiting greenhouse gases.[32]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

As a pro-choice Republican, Capito is a former Chairman of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus. After an explosion responsible for the death of 29 coal workers, Capito founded the Congressional Coal Caucus.[33]

U.S. Senate[edit]

2014 Senate election[edit]

On November 26, 2012, Capito announced that she planned to run for the U.S. Senate in the 2014 election, at the time intending to challenge longtime incumbent Jay Rockefeller,[34] but he subsequently announced his retirement. Despite initial protests from Tea Party groups and anti-establishment conservatives that Moore Capito's House voting record was "too liberal,", partially due to her pro-choice views,[35] she ultimately won 87% of the Republican primary vote.

Rockefeller dropped out of the race on January 11, 2013, making Capito an overwhelming favorite in the general election. She went on to defeat Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the general election, 62% to 35%, carrying every county in the state. This gave West Virginia the distinction of being represented in the Senate by two Senators whose views on abortion diverge from the majority stance of their party; her Senate colleague, Democrat Joe Manchin, is pro-life.


Capito was one of 47 Republican senators to sign Senator Tom Cotton's open letter to the Iranian government.[36] The letter, which sought to dissuade Iran from reaching an agreement with President Obama regarding nuclear peace, was described by the White House as "undercutting foreign policy".[37]

Committee assignments[edit]


  1. ^ "West Virginia Senate Election Results: Shelley Moore Capito Is State's First Female Senator". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Transcript of interview with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito". Q & A. October 30, 2005. Retrieved 2014-11-29. 
  3. ^ Huston, Andy. "23% of House & 41% of Senate is Greek". North-American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  4. ^ "Queens of the cherry blossoms". Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  5. ^ U.S. Senate – Shelly Moore Capito Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV District 2 Race – Nov 07, 2000". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV District 2 Race – Nov 05, 2002". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 02 Race – Nov 02, 2004". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 02 Race – Nov 07, 2006". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 02 Race – Nov 04, 2008". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Rivard, Ry (July 21, 2010). "Capito will not run against Manchin for Byrd's seat". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  12. ^ "Capito wins big, Rahall bests former justice". Parkersburg News and Sentinel. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  13. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 02 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "WVa US Rep Shelley Moore Capito overcomes rare GOP primary challenge in bid for 7th term". Associated Press. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV District 2 – R Primary Race – May 08, 2012". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 02 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  17. ^ BELISLE, RICHARD (11 June 2012). "Congressional candidate Swint campaigns in the Panhandle". Herald-Mail. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Shelley Moore Capito (R)". U.S. Congress Votes Database (The Washington Post). 
  19. ^ Kamen, Al (24 July 2012). "Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)". Who Runs Gov? (The Washington Post). 
  20. ^ "H.R. 2324 (108th)". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 330". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  22. ^ "H.R. 2 (111th)". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  23. ^ Reilly, Tara (4 October 2006). "Local Republicans sound off on page scandal". The Herald-Mail. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  24. ^ AP (11 February 2009). "Key Figure In Foley Case Testifies". CBS News. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "To extend Bush tax cuts". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Balanced Budget Amendment". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  27. ^ "H.R. 3697 (112th)". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  28. ^ "H.R. 1829". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  29. ^ "HR 4777: Internet Gambling Prohibition Act". Thomas (Library of Congress). 2006. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  30. ^ "HR 4411: Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act". Thomas (Library of Congress). Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  31. ^ "POLITICO: Note to EPA: 'Coal' isn't a dirty word". Press Release. US House of Representatives. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  32. ^ Kamen, Al (24 July 2012). "Political Profile for Shelley Moore Capito". On the Issues (Washington Post). Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "She is also a founding member of the Congressional Coal Caucus". Charleston Daily Mail. 13 April 2010. 
  34. ^ Catanese, David (November 25, 2012). "Shelley Moore Capito makes Senate bid vs. Jay Rockefeller official". Politico. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  35. ^ Catanese, David. "GOP split resurfaces after Shelley Moore Capito announcement." 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
  36. ^ Jose A. DelReal (2012-12-14). "Here’s a list of the GOP senators who signed the Iran letter". Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  37. ^ "G.O.P. Senators’ Letter to Iran About Nuclear Deal Angers White House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Wise
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Alex Mooney
Preceded by
Judy Biggert
Chairperson of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues
Succeeded by
Ginny Brown-Waite
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jay Wolfe
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from West Virginia
(Class 2)

Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Jay Rockefeller
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from West Virginia
Served alongside: Joe Manchin
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Cory Booker
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Gary Peters