|Shelley Moore Capito|
|United States Senator
from West Virginia
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
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Bob Wise|
|Succeeded by||Alex Mooney|
|Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from the 30th district|
December 1, 1996 – December 1, 2000
|Preceded by||Multi-member district|
|Succeeded by||Multi-member district|
|Born||Shelley Wellons Moore
November 26, 1953
Glen Dale, West Virginia, U.S.
|Education||Duke University (BA)
University of Virginia (MEd)
Shelley Wellons Moore Capito (//; born November 26, 1953) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from West Virginia since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, she was the U.S. Representative for West Virginia's 2nd congressional district from 2001 until her election to the Senate. She is the current dean of West Virginia's congressional delegation.
A graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia, she is the daughter of the late Governor of West Virginia Arch Moore. 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 Senate in 2014, becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in the history of West Virginia and the first Republican to win a full term in the Senate from West Virginia since 1942. She won mostly on large majorities in the counties along the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia borders.
In Congress, Capito has sponsored over 113 pieces of legislation, making her the most prolific federal legislator of the freshmen Senators elected in 2014. Capito is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch; she is the only freshman Senator to chair a subcommittee on the powerful Appropriations Committee. She is a member of the Main Street Partnership, with three fellow Republican senators, focused on centrist goals in Congress. The group is the rough equivalent of the Blue Dog Democrats.
Born 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, where she earned her bachelor's degree in zoology; and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, where she earned her master's degree. She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and represented the state of West Virginia as the 1972 Cherry Blossom Princess.
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.
When U.S. Congressman Bob Wise ran for governor in 2000, Capito ran as a Republican in the open seat in West Virginia's 2nd district, which was anchored in Charleston and stretched from the Ohio River in the west to the Eastern Panhandle, which borders with Virginia and Maryland. She narrowly defeated the Democratic nominee, lawyer Jim Humphreys, 48%–46%. 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 who was not the widow of a member of Congress.
She won re-election to a second term, defeating Humphreys in rematch 60%–40%. She won every county in the district except Braxton. She became the first West Virginia Republican to win re-election to Congress since her father, who represented the 1st district in the state's northern region from 1957 to 1969.
Capito was mentioned as a possible challenger to Senator Robert Byrd, a long-time foe of her father, 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.
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 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." Capito won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Virginia Lynch Graf, 68%–30%. 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". She defeated Delegate Jonathan Miller and Michael Davis 83%–11%–6%. She won re-election to a seventh term, defeating former gubernatorial aide Howard Swint, 70%–30%.
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.
On November 26, 2012, Capito announced her intention to seek the United States Senate seat in play for the 2014 election, intending to challenge long-time incumbent Jay Rockefeller, but he subsequently announced his retirement.
Capito's "Shared Values" commercial featured her saying, "We want our country back; we don't want government coming in and telling us how to pick our doctor, how to educate our children." Despite initial protests from Tea Party groups and anti-establishment conservatives that Moore Capito's House voting record was "too liberal", she ultimately won 87% of the Republican primary vote.
Rockefeller dropped out of the race on January 11, 2013, making Capito the overwhelming favorite in the general election.
She went on to defeat Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the general election, 62% to 35% - the largest victory margin for a Republican running in a statewide race in West Virginia history. She also carried every county in the state.
Capito has attributed her emphasis on bipartisanship and working through ideological differences as a reason for her successful political career, further demonstrated by her "willingness to break from her party by voting against tax breaks for oil companies and twice supporting an override of George W. Bush's veto of the SCHIP bill". Capito was ranked as the 9th most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate during the 114th United States Congress (and the second most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate from the American South after fellow West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).
Along with Rob Portman and Deb Fischer, Senator Capito is one of Mitch McConnell’s counsels to leadership in the Senate. In Congress, Senator Capito has sponsored over 113 pieces of legislation. Since being in Congress, Capito has voted with her party 93% of the time.
As of 2012, she had a lifetime rating of 70 from the American Conservative Union. She is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. 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.
Capito is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. She "is a relative moderate who supports abortion rights and has crossed the aisle on some votes". In 2013, the National Journal gave her a composite score of 63% conservative and 37% liberal. CrowdPac, which provides a conservative or liberal score based on donations they receive and give, has given Capito a score of 3.8C with 10C being the most conservative and 10L being the most liberal. The American Conservative Union has given Capito a lifetime rating of 67.2% conservative. The Americans for Democratic Action has given her a rating of 15% liberal.
Capito is a sponsor of the Gender Advancement in Pay (GAP) Act, saying "it should be common sense that women and men get equal pay for equal work" and expressing concerns about sex discrimination against women in the workplace. Capito is sponsoring the Rural Access to Hospice Act to improve the quality, access, and retention of hospice facilities in rural parts of the nation. In response to the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Capito issued a statement saying "While I would have preferred that the Supreme Court leave this decision to the states, it is my hope that all West Virginians will move forward and continue to care for and respect one another."
On social policy, the National Journal gave Capito a score of 54% conservative and 43% liberal. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights advocacy group, gave Capito a score of 30% in the 113th Congress and 64% in the 114th Congress.
In a 2010 response to a questionnaire by Project Vote Smart, Capito described herself as "pro-choice," but she has a mixed record on the issue of abortion. She was rated 35% by abortion rights-group NARAL Pro-Choice America. The anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee gave her ratings of 55% in 2004-2006, 57% in 2007-2009, and 100% in the 114th Congress (2015-16). In 2013, Capito's campaign manager stated that "she does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade." She received a rating of 21% from Planned Parenthood in 2014.
She has voted against providing federal funding for abortion and in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003. However, she voted against banning family-planning funding in US aid abroad. She supports embryonic stem cell research, and in 2010 described herself as "pro-choice". While she selected the label "pro-choice" in 2010, she was supported by pro-life groups as well, making the overall question of whether she is "pro-life" or "pro-choice" difficult to determine. She was described as "pro-choice" again in 2012. She was also supported by the Republican Majority for Choice a pro-choice Republican PAC. Capito typically avoids discussing the matter.
As a representative, Capito voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act) in March 2010. 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. 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. On March 3 2017, Capito "insist[ed] that Medicaid expansion be preserved in the GOP's Obamacare replacement proposal". Along with three other Republicans, Capito signed a letter saying that the House Republican health care plan "does not do enough to protect families and individuals covered by the Medicaid expansion or to provide flexibility to the states". Also in 2017, Capito announced that she is opposed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement proposal. On July 26, 2017, Capito joined seven other Republicans and voted against repealing the ACA without a replacement. However, on July 27, Capito voted 'Yes' for the 'Skinny' repeal of the ACA.
Capito has sponsored approximately 40 bills about international trade and international finance, the most of any other legislative topic during her career. Capito has criticized the vulnerabilities in current national security policy in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack and has sponsored 8 bills on the military and national security. Capito was one of 47 Republican senators to sign Senator Tom Cotton's open letter to the Iranian government in 2015. The letter, which sought to dissuade Iran from reaching an agreement with President Barack Obama regarding nuclear peace, was described by the White House as "undercutting foreign policy".
On foreign policy, the National Journal gave her a score of 77% conservative and 15% liberal.
In 2005, Capito voted against the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the major trade agreement negotiated under President George W. Bush. She voted Yes in 2003, 2004, and 2007 to approve free trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, Australia, and Peru. She supports tariffs against countries that manipulate currencies, and she sponsored a bill that would create an import fee on countries with an undervalued currency.
Capito opposes legislation aimed at capping greenhouse gas emissions. In January 2010, she reportedly asked the president if he would reconsider "job-killing" policies like limiting greenhouse gases.
Capito supported President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. She called the decision "the right decision for the American economy and workers in West Virginia and across the country."
In December 2010, Capito voted to extend the tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Capito supports a federal prohibition on online poker, an in 2006, was a cosponsor of H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. She also supported H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. 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. On economic issues, the National Journal gave her a rating of 53% conservative and 47% liberal.
Capito was considered a possible contender for vice president on the Republican ticket with Donald Trump in 2016, and in May 2016 was one of several Senators to meet with Trump in Washington, D.C. In the end, Trump picked former congressman and Governor of Indiana Mike Pence to join him on the Republican ticket.
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito||108,769||48.49|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito (inc.)||98,276||60.04|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito (inc.)||147,676||57.46|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito (inc.)||94,110||57.18|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito (inc.)||147,334||57.07|
|Republican||Shelley Capito (inc.)||126,814||68.46|
|Democratic||Virginia Lynch Graf||55,001||29.69|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito (Incumbent)||158,206||69.8|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito||74,655||87.50|
|Republican||Shelley Moore Capito||281,820||62.12|
|Mountain||Bob Henry Baber||5,504||1.21|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
General election resultswas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shelley Moore Capito.|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd congressional district
|Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from West Virginia
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from West Virginia
Served alongside: Joe Manchin
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
|107th||Senate: R. Byrd • J. Rockefeller||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|108th||Senate: R. Byrd • J. Rockefeller||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|109th||Senate: R. Byrd • J. Rockefeller||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|110th||Senate: R. Byrd • J. Rockefeller||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|111th||Senate: R. Byrd • J. Rockefeller||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|111th||Senate: J. Rockefeller • C. Goodwin||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|111th||Senate: J. Rockefeller • J. Manchin||House: N. Rahall • A. Mollohan • S. Capito|
|112th||Senate: J. Rockefeller • J. Manchin||House: N. Rahall • S. Capito • D. McKinley|
|113th||Senate: J. Rockefeller • J. Manchin||House: N. Rahall • S. Capito • D. McKinley|
|114th||Senate: J. Manchin • S. Capito||House: D. McKinley • A. Mooney • E. Jenkins|
|115th||Senate: J. Manchin • S. Capito||House: D. McKinley • A. Mooney • E. Jenkins|
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