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Top Republican Won’t Run for Capito Seat #WV02

Updated 5:12 p.m. | State Del. Eric Nelson will not run for the GOP nomination to succeed Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in the state’s 2nd District, according to two sources.

Capito is running for Senate in 2014, leaving behind a district that favors Republicans.

But strategists from both parties envision scenarios in which the seat could flip to Democrats now that Capito will not be on the district ballot. Nelson was the favorite of top Republicans to run and had the potential to clear the GOP field.

Now the primary is wide open. Last month, state and national sources named a number of Republicans as contenders for the seat. Aside from Nelson, they included:

  • Former U.S. International Trade Commissioner Charlotte Lane
  • State Sen. Mike Hall
  • Former state Sen. Steve Harrison
  • Former Del. Larry Faircloth
  • Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney (Roll Call previously reported on the circumstances of Mooney’s deliberations.)
  • Former Secretary of State Betty Ireland
  • Former Del. Charles Trump

One West Virginia Republican insider told CQ Roll Call that Lane is “rapidly getting support from chattering class” and is quickly emerging from the rest of the pack.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race as Republican Favored. Attempts to reach Nelson were not immediately successful.

Updated 10:55 a.m. | “I’ve chosen not to run for Congress at this time, due to business and family obligations, as well as to be part of what I would see as history of Republicans gaining control of the West Virginia House of Delegates [in 2014],” Nelson confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

As for an endorsement?

“We’ll see who comes forward,” he said.


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