West Virginia Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will mount a bid for Senate in 2014, aiming for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Capito will officially announce her run Monday, West Virginia Metro News reported.
The six-term Republican congresswoman was seen as a possible Senate contender in 2010, when former Sen. Robert Byrd died, but opted not to run.
Campaign adviser Kent Gates told the Charleston Daily Mail that Capito “thinks it’s critical that the state has a U.S. senator that is resolute and steadfast to stand up for the coal industry and energy jobs for West Virginia.”
Gates said she announced her plans a full two years in advance because she wanted to get it done and “get back to work on the fiscal cliff and fighting to protect West Virginia’s interests.”
“But she also thinks it is important that people know what her intentions are so they can plan accordingly, and it gets away from the political speculation that has surrounded her for literally the past two and a half years,” he said.
The 75-year-old Rockefeller has not yet said if he will retire or pursue another six-year Senate term.
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, Rockefeller said that Capito had “called last week to let me know of her plans, and I appreciated that,” but that at the moment his attention was on the issues he was dealing with in the Senate.
“My total focus right now is on the national budget situation and the fight for West Virginia families – making sure the very wealthy finally start paying their fair share again, for the first time in decades, rebuilding a strong middle class, and creating real opportunity for those who are still struggling,” he said.
“Beyond that big question, everyone I talk to in West Virginia is tired of the non-stop campaigning,” Rockefeller went on. “West Virginians just want us to do our jobs, and for me that means focusing full-time on the serious issues at hand. Politics can wait.”