Hotline OnCall's Reid Wilson reports that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will not run against Gov. Joe Manchin in the race to replace Robert Byrd. Though the West Virginia legislature decided to allow her to run for Senate while serving in the House, she claims to want to avoid legal challenges to a dual candidacy.
Capito was the Republicans' best hope to challenge Manchin, whom Wilson notes is "hugely popular in the state ... even though Pres. Obama has a dismal approval rating there, Manchin would have been the early favorite even over Capito."
Now, West Virginia Republicans' options are even less promising:
Without Capito, GOPers are likely to turn to one of several wealthy businessmen to step in. John Raese (R), who took 34% of the vote against Byrd in '06, is considering running for the seat again. Bob Adams, who runs the League of American Voters, is also thinking about a bid.
Neither candidate would have a lot of time to prepare a race. WV voters will select nominees in an Aug. 28 primary, then pick a replacement for Byrd during the already-scheduled Nov. 2 midterms.
Read the full story at Hotline OnCall.