- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s top Republican prospect to run for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd said Wednesday she will not enter the race against the state’s popular Democratic governor.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said she instead will continue to seek a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Legislation signed Monday sets an Aug. 28 primary and Nov. 2 general election for the seat. A GOP amendment permits Mrs. Capito to run for both the House and Senate in that general election.

But among other factors, Mrs. Capito said, her dual candidacy might trigger a court challenge.

State Republican Chairman Doug McKinney said he has not heard from any other Republican seriously considering a run. Gov. Joe Manchin III announced his candidacy Tuesday.

Byrd, a Democrat, died June 28.