CHAPMANVILLE — A house full of enthusiasm greeted Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito as she spoke Saturday, April 27, at the Logan Country Club in Chapmanville.
Capito, who has already announced plans to give up her seat in congress to make a run for the United States senate in 2014, warmed up to the overflow crowd with partisan rhetoric and anecdotes about her famous West Virginia political family.
The congresswoman has served the second congressional district for 14 years and announced plans to run for the senate before incumbent Democrat Jay Rockefeller revealed he would retire at the end of his current term in 2014.
“As a matter of courtesy, I called Senator Rockefeller to tell him I would be running for his senate seat in 2014,” Capito beamed. “He likes to say my call had no effect on his ultimate decision to retire. I like to think I pushed him out,” she said to laughter from the room.
Capito pointed out that her father, legendary West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., was well-known as “working just as hard for Democrats as he did Republicans.” Along those lines, she commented, “I’ll bet there are plenty of Democrats and Independents in this room tonight and we need you to win this race.
Gary Lee Corn of Logan served as master of ceremonies for the event, billed as “A Gathering in the Hills.” It was sponsored by the Republican executive committees of Boone, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo counties, Lincoln County Chairperson Lisa Ramey, Boone Chair Larry Lyon, Jr., Mingo Chair Russell Deskins and Logan Chair Diane Dewey White were all introduced to the crowd.
Following musical entertainment by Steve Smarr of Boone County, Janice Stone of Logan extended a welcome to those in attendance. A recognition of guests, which included Delegate Marty Gearheart of Mercer County followed, along with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Chad Story of Logan and invocation by Howard Isaacs of Lincoln.
Following a buffet dinner of lasagna and salad, Lyon introduced Capito. His prepared remarks included a welcome to Capito’s husband, Charles Capito, who was at another engagement the congresswoman said. Realizing his gaffe, Lyon said,”if he (Charles Capito) was here, which I wish he was.”
Capito then spoke for about 20 minutes, entertaining the crowd with her political positions and stories regarding her family. Guests, who paid $25 each for the dinner, circulated a greeting card for former Governor Moore, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday at his home in Glen Dale.
In her speech, Capito criticized Obamacare health insurance, saying she would oppose any move in congress to exempt legislators from participating in the plan. “If it’s good for you, it’s good for us,” she exclaimed.
She was also critical of what she called the overspending in Washington. “If you or I have less money, guess what, we eliminate and cut expenses.”
Capito brought loud cheers from the crowd when she reiterated her support for coal mining in the Mountain State. “I will always stand up for coal and West Virginia jobs,” she concluded.