Capito Initiates Bid for Senate GOP Leadership Amid Ongoing Shuffle

Capito Initiates Bid for Senate GOP Leadership Amid Ongoing Shuffle
Capito Initiates Bid for Senate GOP Leadership Amid Ongoing Shuffle (Credits: Politico)

Shelley Moore Capito is making a bid for the chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, a strategic move prompted by the decision of the current chair, Joni Ernst, to seek higher office within the GOP.

Capito, now in her second term and serving as the party’s conference vice chair, announced on Monday her intention to vie for the party’s fourth-ranking position after Mitch McConnell vacates the top spot at the close of the year. McConnell’s departure creates vacancies in the conference’s leadership structure, paving the way for Capito’s aspiration.

The Policy Committee functions as an internal think tank for Senate Republicans and oversees critical party meetings.

Capito Initiates Bid for Senate GOP Leadership Amid Ongoing Shuffle
Capito Initiates Bid for Senate GOP Leadership Amid Ongoing Shuffle (Credits: WJBF)

“In order to advance conservative principles that Senate Republicans, with any luck, will be able to enact next year, it is imperative for our conference to have strong leadership,” stated Capito, a representative of West Virginia, in a recent announcement.

Capito’s inclusion in party leadership last year marked a significant milestone, and she has played a pivotal role in numerous bipartisan agreements as she has risen through the ranks. Notably, she holds the position of the leading Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, making her the first West Virginia Republican to serve in the Senate since the 1950s.

Her candidacy for the position of policy chair this fall creates an opening for the vice chair slot in the upcoming leadership elections. Meanwhile, Ernst is contending for the position of conference chair against Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Current Conference Chair John Barrasso from Wyoming is vying for the position of whip, while Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota is in a contest with Senator John Cornyn of Texas for the role of GOP leader to succeed McConnell.

When questioned about her support for Capito’s bid for RPC chair, Ernst responded affirmatively, stating, “Of course.” However, Capito was more reserved in her response when asked if she would support Ernst for conference chair, stating that she is “just focused on what I’ve announced today.”

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.