West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 34

U.S. Senate Race Shelley Moore Capito (R) Natalie Tennant (D) Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito was elected to the House in 2000. Prior to her role within Congress, she served two terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Capito is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a member of the House Financial Services Committee. She has consistently fought the EPA’s war on coal, and she supports a comprehensive energy plan that includes West Virginia energy resources. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is serving her second term in office. Prior to her election to office, she spent 12 years in the TV news industry, and she started a small business with her husband. As secretary of state, Tennant cut her own budget, giving $3 million back to the taxpayers of West Virginia, cut fees for small businesses and made it easier to file paperwork. Tennant’s No. 1 priority is creating good-paying jobs for West Virginians. A s k t h e C a n d i d at e A s k t h e C a n d i d at e What do you see as West Virginia’s biggest challenges? What do you see as West Virginia’s biggest challenges? West Virginia has challenges in the energy sector. That’s probably our largest challenge, and that comes from Washington—from the president, specifically. It’s tying one hand behind our back in the state. It’s going to have a big impact on our manufacturing sector, our power bills and employment. It also has a big impact on individual counties that are trying to keep their schools open and their counties running with the tax base evaporating in certain parts of the state. Even the areas that aren’t directly affected are feeling it. There is a lot of pessimism and uncertainty about our future, and with that also comes the challenge of keeping our young people home so we can have that next generation to move the state along. My No. 1 priority as a U.S. senator is creating good-paying jobs. For West Virginia, good-paying jobs start with energy, and energy for this state starts with coal. Manufacturing, technology and research are part of those good-paying jobs. We’re doing 3-D printing, and we have the potential to fuel the next wave of micro-manufacturing and create goodpaying jobs through that. We can’t do anything, though, unless we invest in our greatest resource: our people. We have to make sure West Virginians have skills to fill these jobs. Which of your personal characteristics will help you as a senator? I have an ability to work across the aisle to reach a consensus, develop relationships in a network and forge a compromise. I think I’m known as a good listener before I’m a talker—that I’m somebody who wants to hear and learn before I make a decision or before I decide to make a public statement. I’m a fighter. I have a strong backbone and a great will to move forward; I’m not easily turned aside. I also have a passion for my fellow West Virginians. I was raised with a solid set of West Virginia values, and I think treating people with stability, civility and how you would want to be treated is how I’ve conducted myself. What will be your No. 1 priority as a U.S. senator? We’ve got to get West Virginians back to work. That means a comprehensive energy plan that includes all of the above. That means a health care bill that delivers affordable and accessible health care to West Virginians. The major thing is jobs. It’s getting folks to work. Jobs are my No. 1 priority. 34 west virginia executive Which of your personal characteristics will help you as a senator? I grew up on a farm where we learned how to do more with less, and I took that value to the secretary of state’s office where I do more with less every day. For me, that farm in Marion County is still my conscience and my compass. Any time I have to make tough decisions, I ask myself, can I go back to the farm and tell my dad and my brothers why I did what I did? And if I can’t, it’s probably not the right thing to do. I took it from the farm to Charleston when three democratic-elected officials from my own party tried to steal an election. I led the investigation that put them behind bars because I put West Virginia first, before party, before power and before position. What will be your No. 1 priority as a U.S. senator? My No. 1 priority is creating good-paying jobs. I’m procoal, and I’ll stand up to anyone to protect our coal jobs. I’m also pro-coal miner; while I’m fighting to keep our miners working, I’m fighting just as hard to keep them safe and protect the pensions and benefits they’ve earned over a lifetime. My first act in the U.S. Senate will be to sign on to the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act.