CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP & WSAZ) - U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito has a challenger in this year's West Virginia Republican primary.
Delegate Jonathan Miller of Berkeley County filed Tuesday to run in the 2nd Congressional District.
Miller first announced his candidacy back in May, in the week leading up to the the special primary for West Virginia governor.
I emailed him about the announcement, as it was not only early but made in a week when anyone who was following politics was pretty much focused on the governor's race.
Miller responded, "The 2012 Primary is on May 8th. I prayed to God about the best time to announce. That day was May 10th."
At the time he also said in a video on his website, “I’m running because I’m tired of seeing Washington politicians put themselves before you.”
Capito has not filed her papers to seek re-election.
In a poll late last year, Public Policy Polling found Capito remains one of the most popular figures in West Virginia politics. In a hypothetical matchup against Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in 2014, she would win 48-44.
What PPP had to say at the time:
"2012's not looking great for West Virginia Republicans on the picking up a Senate seat front but 2014 might provide more promise. Jay Rockefeller's approval rating is 47/41, ok numbers but unimpressive compared to Manchin. And he would trail in a potential bout with Capito by a 48-44 margin. Rockefeller does worse against Capito than Manchin does across the board but the disparity is particularly large with GOP voters- they support Capito by only a 43 point margin over Manchin (64-21), but would give her a 68 point advantage over Rockefeller (80-12). Rockefeller and Manchin are pretty similarly popular with Democrats but when it comes to independents/Republicans the disparity is wide."
Freshman Rep. David McKinley also filed Tuesday. The Ohio County Republican is seeking another term representing the 1st District.
West Virginia's recently redrawn congressional districts remain the subject of a federal court challenge. But the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed this year's elections to rely on the new redistricting map pending an appeal.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul also added his name to West Virginia's Republican primary ballot.
Others filing Tuesday include Republican Mike Teets. The lifelong Hardy County farmer is running for agriculture commissioner. Teets came close in 2008, winning 47 percent of the vote for that office.