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West Virginia's 2nd congressional district: Wikis


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West Virginia's 2nd congressional district
United States House of Representatives, West Virginia District 2 map.png
Current Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R)
Population (2000) 602,243
Median income $33,198
Ethnicity 94.4% White, 3.6% Black, 0.5% Asian, 0.8% Hispanic, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% other
Cook PVI R+8

The Second Congressional District of West Virginia stretches from the Ohio River border with Ohio to the Potomac River border with Maryland and the border with Virginia. It includes the capital city of Charleston and the rapidly growing residential communities of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands regions by a narrow strip of nearly unpopulated counties. It has been accurately described as 20 miles wide and 300 miles long.

The district is currently represented by Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the daughter of former Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. Capito is the first Republican from West Virginia to serve more than one term in Congress since her father, who represented West Virginia's 1st congressional district from 1957 to 1969.

The district owes it size and odd shape to the issue of gun control. West Virginia had four Congressional seats from 1973 to 1993. Previously, much of the western portion of the current 2nd District had been the 3rd District, based in Charleston. The eastern portion of the district had been the 2nd District, based in Martinsburg. From 1983 to 1993, the 2nd District's congressman was Democrat Harley "Buckey" Staggers, Jr., a strong supporter of the NRA. When West Virginia lost a seat following the 1990 Census, the state legislature divided Staggers's district among the remaining three districts. Much of Staggers's old territory was merged with the 3rd District, represented by five-term Democrat Bob Wise and renumbered the 2nd. However, Staggers's home in Mineral County wound up in the 1st District, where he was routed in the Democratic primary by Alan Mollohan. Wise represented the new district until 2000, when he ran for and won West Virginia's governorship.

The district is very expensive to campaign in, because six counties on the district's eastern fringe are in the very expensive Washington, D.C. television market. The two main parts, Charleston and the Eastern Panhandle, have very little in common and very little interaction.

The district is slightly more conservative and prosperous than the rest of the state, though Capito's voting record has been relatively moderate. It also shares West Virginia's tendency to give congressmen long tenures in Washington. Only seven people have represented the district's current seat since 1945; indeed, the 2000 election that resulted in Capito's victory marked the first open-seat race in the district since 1945. The old 2nd District had only five congressmen from 1933 until its elimination in 1993.

George W. Bush carried the district both times in 2000 with 54% of the vote and in 2004 with 57% of the vote. John McCain also won the district in 2008 with 54.63% of the vote while Barack Obama received 43.77%.



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