West Virginia 2014 U.S. Senate Debate

Tune in to this page at 7 p.m. on October 7 for live streaming coverage of the 2014 U.S. Senate Candidates Debate between Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, moderated by West Virginia MetroNews Talkline host Hoppy Kercheval.

The one-hour debate is sponsored by AARP West Virginia, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia MetroNews Radio Network and the West Virginia Press Association.

The West Virginia Press Association will be liveblogging the debate on this page.


A note about our coverage: This liveblog is not an official transcript of the debate. Rather, it is a compilation of quotes, paraphrased statements and observations written and posted in rapid response to the debate. It is not intended as a transcript, nor should it be interpreted as one.

6:20 p.m.  Media are gathering in  Clay Center’s Walker Theater.

6:39 p.m. It’s nasty outside, but there’s no need to venture out. You can catch the debate right here or on WV Public Broadcasting. Live tweeting is also unfolding at #wvsenatedebate.

6:55 p.m.  Interestingly, both candidates are wearing red.

7:01 p.m.  Hoppy Kercheval is introducing the candidates.

7:03 p.m.  Capito: “Washington needs to work with West Virginia.”

7:06 p.m. Tennant: “I don’t answer to a party, I answer to the people of West Virginia.”

7:10 p.m. Why should WV believe you should be successful in confronting EPA. Tennant: Coal is still generating 40% of energy for US, 90% for WV; has endorsement of WV coal miners. Capito: House has passed “bill after bill,” but Senate has obstructed.

7:13 p.m. Hoppy: Hasn’t economic stagnation occurred on the watch of Dems and Reps alike?

Capito: Obamacare is moving us to a “part-time economy.” Americans spending more on energy and healthcare due to current admin’s policies.

Tennant: Capito has had 14 years in D.C. to make a change to better conditions for WV and WV coal miners.

7:19 p.m. Hoppy to Tennant: What are you implying in insider trading allegations against Capito?

Tennant: Capito tends to side with banks and breaks trust of West Virginians. Capito made money by having access to information not available to regular West Virginians

Capito: “Unfounded, untrue, undocumented” personal attack. It’s an attempt to shift the conversation away from jobs, education, energy and healthcare. “I’ve built 18 years of trust with West Virginians.”

Tennant challenges: Says she did not mention a meeting in her ad; reiterates Capito’s access to nonpublic, insider information.

7:23 p.m. What’s the economic argument behind jobless benefits expansion generating economic activity?

Tennant: There are WV workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own and need help while looking for their next job. It would bring $20 million to WV economy. Needs to be followed by creating good paying jobs, which can happen with WV’s energy and high-tech potential.

Capito: All of WV’s recent job losses are attributable to Obama administration policies. Tennant is Obama’s representative on the ballot.

7:28 p.m. Capito: Minimum wage is not intended for raising a family. Likes WV’s phased raising of the minimum wage. Would support a minimum wage increase from Washington.

Tennant: 40 hours on minimum wage yeilds $15,000 a year. No way one can raise a family on that. Why isn’t congress in session to take this up right now?

7:30 p.m. Support of boots on the ground in current ISIS conflict if line in sand crossed?

Tennant: Congress needs to debate what that line in the sand is, and American people need to hear all of the information

Capito: Recent beheadings are jarring; Frightened about what could happen on US homeland. Did vote to train Syrian rebels.

7:35 p.m. Hoppy to Capito: 160,000 West Virginian’s now have ACA insurance. Would you repeal?

Capito: Repeal and replace. Keep the parts that work. “I wish we had worked in a bipartisan way…” to develop an answer to America’s healthcare issues.

Tennant: Capito saying she is for provisions of ACA, but has voted to repeal it. Has personal experience with going without insurance and having a child denied due to preexisting condition. Capito has voted to take away assurance that that won’t happen.

7:38 p.m. How to keep Social Security solvent?

Tennant: Raise minimum wage and don’t privatize Social Security.

Capito: Have opposed privatizing Social Security during 14 years in Congress. US needs a bipartisan solution by 2037. “I’ll keep the promise of Social Security.”

7:40 p.m. Does Paul Ryan budget provide a sound Medicare reform solution?

Capito: ACA has cut medicare. Ryan budget gives the option for seniors to stay in traditional Medicare

Tennant: “Won’t balance a budget off the backs of seniors.” Capito’s support of Ryan budget would turn Medicare into a voucher system. Alliance for retired Americans gives Capito an 18% rating.

7:43 p.m. What does Tennant have to say about State Election Commission findings against her?

Tennant: “We got to work” to correct problems when cited by WVSC.

Capito: WVSC told Tennant that she got it “blatantly wrong… obviously for political reasons.” Taxpayers had to pay for reprinting of ballots. “This is not the first time we’ve had to reprint our ballots…”

Tennant challenge: $3 million has been returned to taxpayers on her watch. AT&T has said the $400K conference call mix-up was their fault [produces letter].

7:47 p.m. Why not restrict high-capacity magazines for firearms?

Capito: The problem is the U.S. mental health system. It needs better coordination to ensure mass shootings don’ happen.

Tennant: Law-abiding citizens should be able to purchase weapons. Grew up hunting. WV doesn’t need NRA to tell them how they stand with guns. “I represent the 2nd Amendment.”

Sen. Manchin’s bill expands background checks. Do you support the Manchin bill?

Tennant: West Virginians should make the choice for themselves.

Capito: I’ve been consistently opposed to the bill.

7:50 p.m. Live feed was interrupted, but now we’re back…

7:56 p.m. Climate change – are the scientists wrong?

Capito: Balance between economy and environment is difficult. But current admin is overreaching. No WV power plants meet EPA regs. President wants to lead the glob on this issue, but if other nations aren’t following “He’s just taking a walk.”

I don’t think the climate’s changing.

Tennant: Don’t disagree with the scientific consensus. But don’t need to choose between clean air and jobs. Need government investment to make coal more competitive.

7:58 p.m. Recent court decisions are paving the way to legalizing same sex marriage in WV. Opposed or no?

Tennant: “I think about, ‘how do I want to be treated?'” Under the law, people should be treated equally and fairly. Churches should not be forced to go against their doctrine. In favor of equality under the law

Capito: Have a record of opposition, but will recognize the courts’ findings on the matter.

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