WHEELING - Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said she announced her intentions to seek a U.S. Senate seat nearly two years before the election because "I'm not a very good faker."
Last week, Capito, R-Charleston, indicated that in 2014 she would seek the Senate seat held for 27 years by incumbent Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
"I thought about it strategically, and I got some criticism for announcing so early," Capito noted. "But I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I wanted to go on and make the announcement so the speculation would be over. I wanted to get back to governing in Washington, and thought that people could start looking at my seat if they wanted to run for Congress.
"And this is a minor issue - I get a lot of questions about what I'm going to do politically ... and I'm not a very good faker. I didn't think I could hide my intentions that long."
Political insiders had speculated as to whether Capito might seek re-election in 2014, run for Senate or wait until 2016 and seek the office of governor. She is the daughter of former West Virginia Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr. and his wife, Shelley of Glen Dale.
Arch Moore defeated Rockefeller in the 1972 race for governor.
Capito, 59, said she visited her parents last weekend and informed them she would be announcing her candidacy for Senate this week.
"Dad gave me the thumbs up, and said, 'It sounds good to me,'" Capito said.
Rockefeller, 75, hasn't indicated whether he will seek re-election in 2014.
"I called Sen. Rockefeller before my announcement out of respect," she said. "I don't expect my decision will have any bearing on whether or not he will seek re-election."
Capito said she looked with anticipation at the possibility of remaining in Washington and continuing for West Virginia jobs and energy from the Senate side.
"I'm frustrated with the stalemate in the Senate, and I have a known history of working across party lines," she said. "I could be a problem solver, and that is needed over there.
"I have also been a good listener, and I want to take it onto a larger platform. Diversity in our delegation is needed, and I am both a woman and a Republican."
The timing of her campaign is also good for the state, Capito continued, and she added she is receiving a lot of encouragement.
"There are a lot of different ideas out there on how to solve problems, but I believe in growth and private sector solutions - instead of government solving problems," she said. "I am very concerned about that, and about policies that pick winners and losers.
"We've got real problems here with long-term programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It will take stepping up to the plate with tough solutions - not just for tomorrow, but for the long term."