Updated Jan. 9, 6:53 p.m. | Former West Virginia Gov. and Rep. Arch Moore, the father of newly sworn in Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., died in Charleston on Wednesday. He was 91.
Moore was first elected to the House in 1956 and served six terms before being elected governor in 1968. The Republican won re-election in 1972 and, after an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 1978 against Democrat Jennings Randolph, was elected to the governor's mansion again in 1984. He was defeated for re-election in 1988. Moore's legacy in West Virginia was muddied a bit by his two years in federal prison for mail fraud. During last year's campaign for the Senate, Capito discussed her father with Roll Call's Abby Livingston , saying on the trail, “I think that my dad has a great legacy in the state. And the folks that don’t like him probably never liked him and never will.”
She continued, “But you could ask 10 people here about something that Arch Moore did. Whether it was a road to the football stadium, completing the Interstates, adding kindergarten, he’s touched a lot of lives, and I’m really proud of his legacy.”
A graduate of West Virginia University law school, Moore was also a World War II veteran. He served one term in the state House of Delegates from 1953 to 1955 and ran unsuccessfully for the House in 1954, before winning in 1956.
“To call our father a source of inspiration would be an understatement. He was — and will continue to be — the force that drives us and our families each and every day. Dad loved the state of West Virginia as if it were a member of our family," a statement from the family released by the senator's office stated.
In September, Capito's mother, Shelley Riley Moore, died at the age of 88 . In November, after seven terms in the House, Capito won election to the Senate, succeeding Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday at the state Capitol in Charleston. Visitation and funeral services follow that day in Moundsville, W.Va.
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