CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito filed for reelection Friday, formally setting up a 2020 showdown with former presidential candidate Richard Ojeda in West Virginia.
Capito, a Republican, announced she was running last year but has now officially submitted her reelection paperwork with the secretary of state in Charleston.
“I’ve been honored to serve and i want to extend my service to work on things that we’ve talked about — transportation, economic development, broadband development, our energy industries,” she said.
Capito served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected as a U.S. senator in 2014, when she became the state’s first female in the Senate and its first Republican senator in about 55 years.
Her filing tees up a race between her and Ojeda, a Democrat who filed earlier this week.
Ojeda resigned a seat in the West Virginia Senate last year to mount a long-shot bid for the presidency, but quit about two months into the race, saying he failed to garner enough money or attention to sustain his candidacy. He also lost a 2018 congressional race.
In an online announcement, Ojeda pledged to confront Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate.
“I believe Mitch McConnell needs a thorn in his side and nobody is better at that than me … Richard Ojeda,” wrote Ojeda, a retired Army paratrooper.
Ojeda is set to face progressive Paula Jean Swearengin in the Democratic primary. She also filed earlier this week.