The Charleston Gazette-Mail endorses incumbent Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., for another term in the U.S. Senate.
Capito has accomplished some important things for West Virginians in recent years, including a bipartisan effort, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., last year to shore up the miners pension plan, securing continuing pension benefits for about 92,000 miners and health care benefits for another 13,000.
Capito also has spearheaded a movement to secure more federal funding for broadband development in West Virginia — a crucial issue that has become even more vital and exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We would like to see improvement from Capito in certain areas. While she initially voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act in the Senate in 2017, and was applauded for taking a stand for people over party, it was already clear the Senate didn’t have the votes at that time for repeal. When Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., brought the issue up for a vote again, because he thought he had the numbers, Capito voted for repeal, which could have left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without health insurance. Only the late Arizona Republican Sen. Jon McCain’s “no” vote kept that from happening.
Capito also has flipped concerning U.S. Supreme Court nominees. When Justice Antonin Scalia died in early 2016, Capito was one of the voices saying President Barack Obama should not get to appoint Scalia’s replacement, because there was an election several months away and Americans should have the opportunity to make their voice heard. After the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with an election practically on top of the country, Capito has completely contradicted her previous stance, saying an appointee must be confirmed as soon as possible.
The stance flip is typical politics, and Capito is hardly the only one to have suddenly changed their position on this important issue. But West Virginians should expect more from their elected representatives in Washington.
Capito has proven before that she can be more than a rubber stamp for her party, and has used her office to great effect. We want to see more of that senator over the next six years.