First Female Senator To Represent West Virgnia

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Making history is in a politician’s job description. Usually they do so with policies and new programs, but this year the winner of the West Virginia U.S. Senate race will make history for a different reason.

For the first time, both of the top contenders in this race are females, making the winner the first female from West Virginia to serve in the U.S. Senate. Those is contention are Republican Candidate Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Candidate Natalie Tennant.

State Senator Donna Boley, the only female state senator currently serving in West Virginia, says this is an important step for the state.

“I think it's a big deal. We need more women in office,” Boley said. “I just think they will represent West Virginia well. They'll bring a different perspective probably than men.”

While both candidates recognize the pressure of being the first female to represent the state, they say it is not their main concern.

“It would be great for the State of WV to have a woman senator,” Capito said. “But I think certainly it's more about the policies.”

Secretary of State Tennant agrees: “More importantly than being the first woman, it's about being the best woman for WV and the best woman for this country,” she said. “Also the best woman to represent women.”

That, however, is where the candidates’ similarities stop. Congresswoman Capito said she’ll fight for less government involvement.

“Basically we want Washington to get out of our lives. We want our country back,” Capito said. “And if the President wants a fight on WV coal, you better believe I'm going to give him one.”

Secretary Tennant, on the other hand, promises to fight for the people of West Virginia. “I opened a small business, I have been denied healthcare insurance for my family and I have sent a husband to war,” Tennant said.

Despite their differences, State Senator Boley said both candidates bring a woman’s perspective to the table.

"I think the state as a whole will benefit from the experience that the woman brings.I just think it is an opportune time for a woman to be elected," Boley said. "I just can't remember a woman who I felt was qualified and ready as we do now."