CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Republican Shelley Moore Capito has soundly defeated Democrat Natalie Tennant in West Virginia's open U.S. Senate race.
It's a key victory as Republicans pursue a six-seat swing to take the majority from Democrats.
The seven-term congresswoman will become West Virginia's first female in the Senate, and its first Republican senator in about 55 years.
Capito was strongly favored because of such animosity toward President Barack Obama in the state.
Obama's energy policies are starkly opposed in West Virginia. The carbon-cutting measures for coal-fired power plants are considered an affront on the struggling coal mining industry.
Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller currently holds the seat. He is retiring after serving in the Senate for about three decades.
Tennant is West Virginia's secretary of state.
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