What She Does Now: U.S. senator from West Virginia
What She Used to Do: Before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 2014, Capito served in the U.S. House for seven terms, from 2001 to 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1975 and a master’s in education from the University of Virginia in 1976, going on to work as a college counselor before serving in the West Virginia State House of Delegates from 1997 to 2001.
Hometown: Capito was born and attended elementary school in Glen Dale, West Virginia. She lists Charleston, West Virginia, as her hometown on Facebook.
Family Tree: For Capito, politics -- and statewide success in West Virginia -- runs in the family. She is the daughter of three-term governor Arch Moore, who drew national attention for his 1968 election in a state that typically voted for Democrats. His political career ended when he pleaded guilty to corruption charges in 1990. Moore died Jan. 7, 2015 -- the day after Capito was sworn in as West Virginia’s first female senator.
Key Life/Career Moments:
Became West Virginia’s first female senator when she was sworn in, in January 2015.
Was the lead sponsor of 198 bills and amendments during her time in Congress, including bills to expand rural access to hospice care, make it easier for Medicaid to cover infant healthcare, establish an independent mine-safety board, delay regulations of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that applied to credit- and debit-card interchange fees, and to block energy and environmental regulations.
Only one of Moore’s bills made it to the president’s desk: a resolution expressing disapproval of the Obama administration’s plan to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from coal power plants. President Obama vetoed it on Dec. 1, 2015.
In 2008, as she ran for reelection in a difficult year for Republicans, Capito touted her willingness to cross party lines and go against GOP leaders. In a TV ad, she highlighted her votes against tax breaks for oil companies and in favor of expanding children’s health coverage, the latter of which she voted for over President Bush’s veto.
What You Might Not Know About Her:
An avid distance runner, Capito told Runner’s World in 2015 that she runs on the National Mall, and up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, every morning before going to work in the Senate. The senator said she began running about 30 years ago, when she was about 30 years old.
Capito was one of a handful of Senate Republicans to meet as a group with Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in May. Before that meeting, she voiced reservations about the presidential candidate and the tone of his campaign, Roll Call reported, but afterward Capito said she came away “encouraged” about GOP unity.
Capito holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Duke University.
The senator is a member of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership, along with fellow GOP Sens. Susan Collins, Maine; Mark Kirk, Illinois; and John McCain, Arizona.
Partnered with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, on a bill to address opioid addiction. The two colleagues co-authored an op-ed on the issue in March.
What She Has Said About Trump:
Told a Maryland radio station in April that “absolutely there’s concern” Trump could pose problems for GOP senators in tough reelection races if he became the party’s nominee, BuzzFeed reported.
Was one of a handful of GOP senators to attend a group meeting with Trump on Capitol Hill in May. Before the meeting, Capito said she planned to “emphasize that what you say and how you say it is really important,” Roll Call reported. “I’m concerned about the tine and how it’s going to influence his campaign.”
Capito said she came away from that meeting “encouraged that we can unite the party and work together” to win the White House, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
Said in June that she “strongly disagrees” with Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage but maintained her support for his candidacy, CNN reported.