In the attention focused on the potential Byrd-Capito match-up, few have noticed Capito's vulnerability in WV HR2. Despite having the wind at her back, a massive in-district GOP GOTV effort targeting the DC exurb Eastern Panhandle counties which supply her margin, and facing a massively underfunded token challenger, she actually dropped two point from 2002 to 2004.
In 2006, she will lose her seat to the credible challenge of Mike Callaghan, a former AUSA, WV Department of Environmental Protection Director, and state Democratic chair. His campaign site is mikewv.com.
Capito continues to pull her Hamlet act on the Byrd challenge, pointedly keeping her options open. She has deftly used the Byrd float to raise her statewide profile for her ultimate goal of winning the govenor's mansion. She has used the leverage she has with the Bush Administration in their frenzied desire to take a shot at Byrd to get a free pass on the CAFTA vote.
She has played her hand well. She just has played it too long. There is growing impatience among West Virginia Republicans over her coy approach. Democrats are livid over the indecency of circling like a vulture waiting for Byrd to pass away.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Posted by Wayne Elkins at 2:06 PM