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W.Va. congressman ‘tempted’ to oppose Capito

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Rep. David McKinley said he would not run against Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in her U.S. Senate campaign. But that doesn't mean he wasn't tempted.

In a Friday meeting with the Daily Mail's editorial board, McKinley, a Republican who represents West Virginia's 1st congressional district, said several national groups and a few Super PACs promised their support if he decided to challenge Capito.

Capito, who represents the state's 2nd district, also is a Republican.

"We were tempted by the devil," McKinley said. "I finally said no, this is Shelley. I went to Shelley and said 'Have I been tempted? Yeah. But I'm going to back you.'"

Capito announced in November she would run for Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat in the 2014 election. Rockefeller then announced in January he would not seek a sixth term.

McKinley said he plans to run for the House at least one more time, but intends to "term-limit" himself at some point.

"What happens in the future, I don't know," he said.

McKinley bemoaned the lack of communication among Republicans and the voting public. He said Democrats largely control the national political conversation, but Republicans' responses largely go unheard.

"So we don't come across as angry old white men, how do we communicate?" he said.

Republicans have the second-largest majority in the House of Representatives since World War II, so voters still are willing to elect GOP lawmakers, McKinley said.

"Nationally is where we have a problem," he said. "It's hard to decide, who is the audience you're talking to? We talk about taxes and job development and reform, and what that's going to do to their children and grandchildren," he said.

But younger voters don't have grandchildren - many don't have children yet - so they stop paying attention.

He also said there is a lack of communication among West Virginia's congressional delegation.

McKinley said West Virginia's representatives and senators have met only once during his two and a half years in office.

And while he occasionally has dinner with Sen. Joe Manchin and talks with Capito and Rep. Nick Rahall on the House floor every day, McKinley said the group never sits down in the same room to discuss issues.

He said he would like to get all of West Virginia's federal lawmakers together at least once a quarter.

"I don't know whose role it is to pull it together. But we ought to be doing it that way," he said. "I'm too old to be fussing around with people who can't talk with each other."

West Virginia learned last month 450 jobs that were supposed to be added to the Bureau of the Public Debt in Parkersburg will remain in Maryland for at least the next six years.

McKinley said the state's federal lawmakers did not step in on the matter because they were "caught off guard." Better communication could have prevented Parkersburg from losing the jobs, he said.

West Virginia's lawmakers need to communicate better in order to protect the state's interests, he said.

"There are more congressmen that represent Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) than in the whole state of West Virginia," he said.

"A lot of it is rural versus urban center. We're outnumbered. Badly."

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or Follow him at


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