(Part of UPI's Election 2002 Special Report)
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (UPI) -- The race for the 2nd Congressional District in West Virginia is a rematch of the 2000 race, which means it's expected to be one of the most expensive in the nation.
The Democrat, Jim Humphreys, a trial attorney with assets of $44 million via asbestos lawsuits, spent $6 million of his own money and raised another $1 million for the race two years ago.
He has spent more than $3 million since June 30, while Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, has spent $412,000.
She spent $1.29 million in 2000 and had raised more than $1 million by June 30, 2002.
Both have benefited from soft money ads funded by the national campaign committees of their parties.
Sixty-one percent of West Virginia voters are registered Democratic. Two years ago, Capito won by 5,500 votes an open seat by campaigning that West Virginia needed a "place at the table" with the GOP in Washington. The district is the largest east of the Mississippi and economically the most diverse of West Virginia's three districts. It includes the state's largest city, Charleston, as well as very rural counties.
To keep the seat Capito, brought President George W. Bush to West Virginia as well as numerous cabinet officials to get West Virginia issues some attention in Washington.
Capito has a master's degree in education and was director of the Educational Information Center before she won a four-year stint in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
In Washington, she voted in favor of the $1.35 trillion tax cut and increasing IRA contributions. Capito introduced legislation that would have Medicare cover 75 percent of drug costs up to $2,000 annually, 50 percent of costs up to $5,000, and 100 percent of costs over $5,000.
Humphreys worked as a lawyer in Georgia for the Southern Regional Council, a civil rights organization, and was elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1989 to 1990 and was a delegate to the West Virginia State House 1983-1988.
Humphreys favors delaying the tax cut and is against increasing IRA contribution limits, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. He wants a prescription drug plan available to everyone with the lowest possible premium and co-payment.
He has a lengthy list of union endorsements.
Ron Faucheux, editor of Campaigns and Elections, has Capito as a 6-5 favorite in her re-election attempt.
(Reported by Alex Cukan in Albany, N.Y.)