Delegate Moore Capito, competing to be West Virginia’s next governor, has endorsed Gov. Jim Justice in the race for U.S. Senate.
Justice, when asked during a briefing whether he intends to reciprocate, did not commit right away — although he praised Capito’s intellect and acumen, citing his political lineage.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the delegate’s mother, months ago endorsed Justice’s campaign to join her in the Senate.
Moore Capito, chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Delegates, announced his endorsement of Justice Wednesday on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”
Justice is running in the Republican primary for Senate against incumbent Congressman Alex Mooney. The winner could face incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat who has not yet announced his own plans.
“I’m supporting and endorsing my good friend Jim Justice for the United States Senate,” the delegate said. “He has been an incredible force in the state of West Virginia. He is a unique leader. Like me, he is a lifelong West Virginian. He’s chosen to raise his family here, and he’s dedicated to the future of this state.
“He knows that the most important economic and moral imperative to the future of this state is our children and our grandchildren. He’s said that, and he’s built an economy; he’s gotten things done like I have in the Legislature. We’ve worked together, I know Jim Justice, I like Jim Justice, I trust Jim Justice. And together we’re going to get it done.”
Moore Capito, who faces strong competition in the Republican primary for governor, said he would welcome an endorsement from Justice.
“I sure hope so,” he said. “We work well together. He’s been special guest at our events. We talk a lot about policy and ways to move West Virginia forward, and I think that’s important.”
Justice, when asked during a news briefing Wednesday about the possibility of a reciprocal endorsement, didn’t go that far.
“The campaigns are not running hand-in-hand, not that I know of and everything,” Justice said. “At some point in time, I probably will endorse a candidate for governor.
“I can say this: Moore is a very, very qualified, you know, man and I think, you know, if we’ll just step back and think of the level of qualification that this man has, you know, from the standpoint of Sen. Capito, from the standpoint of Shelley’s dad, you know, an ex-governor — multiple term governor — the knowledge is off the chart.”
Justice continued, “Now we have other candidates that have knowledge and good knowledge as well and everything. But when the time’s right and everything, I’ll decide, you know, and I’ll make that move forward. But Moore Capito really is a terrific candidate and I wish him the best in many ways, and I want to be supportive.”
Justice, a two-term governor, is up against a term limit. Two of his colleagues in the executive branch — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Secretary of State Mac Warner — are Republicans campaigning to be the state’s next governor. Another prominent candidate is auto dealer Chris Miller, son of incumbent Congresswoman Carol Miller.
Moore Capito announced his campaign for governor last November. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2016 and has been Judiciary chairman since 2020.
His grandfather, Arch Moore, was a three-time governor of West Virginia. His mother, Sen. Capito, endorsed Justice months ago.
Sen. Capito, just prior to Justice’s announcement, said she has worked well with the governor.
“We’ve been good friends for a long time, but we’ve also worked on some really meaningful economic announcements and programs. We’ve worked hand in glove on those kinds of things,” Capito said then.
State Treasurer Riley Moore — grandson of Arch, nephew of Shelley and cousin of Moore — is running for Congress and has endorsed Alex Mooney for Senate.