10 May 2007

The Hill: No '08 Senate Bid For Capito

As the pundits continue to search for interesting and competitive 2008 election races, The Hill has scratched off U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito as someone willing to take on Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

A spokesman for the Charleston Republican said Capito instead plans to run for a fifth, two-year term representing the state's 2nd House District.

The pundits, meanwhile, haven't really changed their assessment of Capito's shoo-in status since the name of state Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, emerged as a possible challenger. I do see, however, that Roll Call has opined that Capito "could face a tough challenge, however, from state Sen. John Unger (D), who is being heavily courted by national Democrats but hasn’t yet committed to the race."

In the absence of Capito, The Hill mentions Secretary of State Betty Ireland and Rockefeller's 1984 nemesis, Morgantown business owner John Raese among the GOP's remaining prospects.

"Raese, whom Rockefeller originally edged to win the seat, received little help from the national party and lost to Byrd in 2006 by more than 30 points," the newspaper reports. "He has the ability to self-fund, however, and some speculate that the 2006 cycle was a warm-up for a rematch with the senator he really wants to face."

Update: Shortly before his 2006 loss, Raese speculated on a 2008 campaign in an interview with The Register-Herald of Beckley.