CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Shelley Moore Capito has become the first West Virginia Republican to be reelected to the U.S. Senate in more than a century.
Capito defeated progressive Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner’s daughter who lacked statewide political experience. Federal campaign finance records showed Capito raised about $5.2 million, or nearly four times as much as Swearengin.
Republicans made major gains when Capito won the 2014 Senate race, capturing all the state’s U.S. House seats for the first time since 1921. Capito is West Virginia’s first female U.S. senator and the first Republican since 1959.
After President Donald Trump won 68 percent of the state vote in 2016, Capito continued to ride his popularity in West Virginia this year. The previous time the state reelected a Republican to the Senate was in 1907.