"I told my dad what I was doing - and he has had some health issues, as we all know - but he looked over at me, gave me the thumbs up and said, 'Let's go,' " Capito said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio and Rockefeller both said Capito's announcement - just 20 days after the election and before Capito has even been sworn in to a seventh term - was too soon. They both made statements Sunday evening as word of Capito's announcement filtered out.
"After three straight years of campaigning in West Virginia, some will start jockeying for political positions for the next election," Puccio said.
West Virginia voters - and anyone who watches TV - have had to deal with regular elections, plus the special U.S. Senate election in 2010 and special gubernatorial election in 2011 because of the political dominos after Robert Byrd died in 2010.
Kent Gates, Capito's campaign adviser, tried to address those questions Sunday afternoon in an interview previewing the announcement. Gates said the timing of the announcement was meant to clear the political air in West Virginia.
On Monday, Capito argued she was reducing voter fatigue.
"They have grown tired of the constant campaigning and they want us to govern," she said of voters. "And I agree it is time to focus on governing.
"For this reason, I have decided to make intentions for 2014 known now, so that I can get back to work in Washington and to avoid disruptive political speculation. It will also provide clarity and time for others to make decisions."
There was also a hint from one prominent Republican that it may be too soon to talk politics. Asked if he planned to run against Capito in the 2014 Republican primary, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said it was "too early" to be talking about the next campaign.
"West Virginians endured a long, bitter 2012 election cycle, and with nearly two years to go it's too early to be worrying about the next campaign," McKinley said in a statement. "We're focused on serving the people of the 1st District and doing the job they sent me here to do."
Capito said she is running because the state "needs a new and diverse voice in the U.S. Senate - a voice that can listen and can walk with others to achieve great things."
Several prominent lobbyists were on hand for her announcement, including the heads of the West Virginia Coal Association and state Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts.
After Rockefeller gave a speech this summer that was highly critical of the coal industry, Roberts answered his phone when a reporter called, "This is Capito for United States Senate headquarters."
Capito promised Monday to fight the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has been increasing its scrutiny of coal mining's environmental and public health effects since 2009.
A great unknown in the political equation is what Rockefeller intends to do. Earlier this month, a Rockefeller representative said "let there be no doubt that he intends to ask West Virginians for their continued support when the time comes," but Rockefeller has yet to make explicit whether he will run.
Several other Democratic candidates names were floated Monday as possible contenders for U.S. House.
A national Democratic operative mentioned former U.S. Sen. Carte Goodwin, D-W.Va., as possible House candidate. Goodwin, a Charleston lawyer, was appointed by former Gov. Joe Manchin to briefly fill part of Byrd's U.S. Senate term. Manchin now holds that seat.
The operative also mentioned Anne Barth, who unsuccessfully challenged Capito in 2008. Some sources said Delegates Doug Skaff and Meshea Poore, both D-Kanawha, might be interested.
Of those four, only Skaff immediately responded to a request for comment.
"At this time I have not ruled it out," Skaff said.