CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Rep. Shelley Moore Capito appears to have solid support from both the state and national business groups going into the 2014 race for U.S. Senate.
Leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Capito, R-W.Va., with their Spirit of Leadership Award Monday afternoon at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Charleston.
Capito announced last year she planned to run for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who later announced he would not run for re-election at the end of his term.
While the state and U.S. chambers will make formal endorsements in the race once the candidate filing periods end, representatives from both groups lauded Capito for her business-friendly stances in Congress.
Karen Alderman Harbert, head of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, called Capito a "leader in the energy debate" in Congress.
"She's increasingly very well known in the halls of Congress and all over Washington as a seasoned and sensible public policy leader," Harbert said, "and we certainly need more of those to get our economy back on its feet and to resolve the big problems our nation is facing."
Harbert said Capito had a 100 percent voting record on Chamber-favored issues during the most recent Congressional session.
"In fact, over her entire career in Congress, she has been with us 91 percent of the time -- which is pretty unprecedented," Harbert said.
Harbert said this was the first time U.S. Chamber leaders had left Washington, D.C. to present the award to a recipient.
The award presentation followed a morning meeting between Capito, chamber leaders and local business executives to discuss issues affecting the state economy.
"We talked extensively about the importance of creating jobs, and the importance of energy and economic development," state Chamber President Steve Roberts said, "and we look forward to talking with her more about how we can work together to help bring more jobs into West Virginia and help improve the economic well-being of the people who live in our state."