Senator Rockefeller will not run for re-election
Charleston, W.Va. – Senator Jay Rockefeller will retire next year. The Democratic senator announced he would not run for re-election in 2014.
Rockefeller, 75, told the Associated Press, “I’ve gotten way out of whack in terms of the time I should spend with my wife and my children and my grandchildren,” he said.
Rockefeller moved to West Virginia in 1964 to work in the VISTA program and was elected to the House of Delegates in 1966. He was elected West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968 and ran for governor in 1972, but was defeated by Arch Moore. Rockefeller worked as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College for four years and tried again for governor in 1976, when he was elected. He served as governor for eight years before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1984. In the four senatorial elections since then, he never faced a serious challenge.
Rockefeller formally announced his retirement at a press conference in Charleston at 11 a.m. this morning. The senator told the Associated Press: “West Virginia has become my life and my cause. I never, ever doubt what it is I’m trying to do. West Virginia provides that to me in the form of fantastically hard-working, tough, warm-hearted people.”
Congressman Nick Rahall issued the following statement:
“We have fought many battles together, miners safety, healthcare, countless economic development initiatives and road projects. Through it all, Jay has been tireless in his work and his dedication never as much as flickered. When it comes to serving the good people of West Virginia, Jay Rockefeller’s true fortune lies in his abiding compassion and heart of gold. His departure from the United States Senate will leave a large hole in our own hearts. As for me, I will mourn the day Jay leaves the Senate.”
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and daughter of former governor Arch Moore, has declared her intention to run for the Senate in 2014.
By announcing his plans early, Rockefeller has given his party plenty of time to recruit a candidate. Rockefeller is the first Democratic senator, up for re-election in 2014, to announce his plans.