Charleston, W.Va. — State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas says he thinks the political strengths of Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito are keeping some Democrats out of next year’s U.S. Senate race.
This week, Charleston Attorney Nick Preservati became the latest Democrat to decide not to run for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat U.S. Senator Jay Rockfeller has held since 1984.
Preservati, 40, had reportedly been within days of announcing his candidacy when he decided against it for family reasons.
Lucas says he is surprised there is no Democrat in the race yet. “I thought there would be someone who would be willing to step up at this point. U.S. Senate seats aren’t positions which are normally sacrificed,” he said.
“I fully expect there to be a challenger come along at some point. I know that we’re not going to a get a complete free pass on this, but I’m shocked they’re having this much trouble finding someone.”
Rockefeller, 75, announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2014 earlier this year. Congresswoman Capito had already launched her U.S. Senate campaign at that point.
Other Democrats who have opted not to run for the Senate include Third District Congressman Nick Rahall, Wheeling Attorney Ralph Baxter, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, former U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin and former Governor Gaston Caperton.
Lucas was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”