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Capito Wins U.S. Senate, Helps Tip Federal Balance to GOP

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Roxy Todd
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West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A mere seconds after the polls closed across the state, national media outlets began calling the U.S. Senate race in favor of Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.

The seat is being vacated by long-time Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller who announced his retirement last year.

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Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
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West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant campaigned up until the last minute in downtown Charleston for her bid for U.S. Senate.

For weeks, Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant trailed Capito in the polls by double digits in some cases, but she remained confident Tuesday evening as she waved to potential voters on Washington Street in downtown Charleston surrounded by volunteers. That confidence, however, wasn’t enough to pull off a win.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, Capito took the stage to accept her newly won seat.

“I want to be the first to share with you how optimistic I am about the future,” she said. “Around the state today West Virginia came together and made their voices heard to tell Washington that we can do better.”

Capito spoke to a packed room of supporters, saying it’s been nearly 60 years since the state sent a Republican to the Senate.

Just a few blocks away, Tennant conceded the race just after 8:30 p.m., thanking her family, staff and supporters.

“Tonight is not an end, it’s only a beginning,” Tennant said, “and I have said that West Virginia’s story all along is my story. I am proud and I look forward to writing the next chapter as your Secretary of State.”


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