CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has hired a political consultant working in Colorado to manage her 2014 bid for the U.S. Senate.
Chris Hansen, 30, will run Capito's Senate campaign, said Chuck Flannery, the congresswoman's campaign spokesman. He said he couldn't provide any further details about the hire.
Hansen currently serves as the chief of staff for Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. He also recently helped Rep. Mike Coffman win re-election, according to The Colorado Observer.
"We all wish Chris the best of luck in his future endeavors and are sad to see him go," Denver television station KDVR quoted Gardner as saying.
"He has provided great leadership for our office over the past three years and leaves big shoes to fill."
Capito announced in late 2012 her decision to run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D W.Va. Rockefeller said in early 2013 he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Nationally, Republicans think the seat is a prime opportunity for a GOP pick-up in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Many potential Democratic candidates rumored to have interest in challenging Capito have bowed out of the race. Former Sen. Carte Goodwin, former Gov. Gaston Caperton, attorney Ralph Baxter and attorney Nick Preservati have all publicly said they will not pursue the seat.
Others Democrats believed to have interest in the seat include Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis. Neither has publicly said whether they will run for the Senate seat.