CHARLESTON, W.Va. --Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is hosting a fund-raiser Friday at her Charleston home for Rick Snuffer, the Republican opponent of Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will attend the event, which will be closed to the media.
Rahall has served in Congress since he won his first election in 1976. This year, he is running for his 19th term.
Snuffer, who lost when he ran against Rahall for Congress in 2004, is serving his first term in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Ken Gates, a spokesman for Capito's re-election campaign, said Friday's fund-raising event "shows the importance of this congressional race nationally.
"It is a good opportunity to help somebody out that has been a proven candidate and someone that Shelley Capito has a lot of respect for," Gates said.
Andy Seré, campaign strategist for Snuffer, said, "We are pleased that West Virginians and House leaders are getting behind Rick's candidacy in a big way.
"They recognize that Rep. Rahall's recent endorsement of the president's re-election, his vote for Obamacare and its Medicare cuts, and his support of EPA's job-killing regulations add up to a record that is simply too liberal and out-of-touch for southern West Virginia."
Rahall joked on Thursday, "Heck, the Speaker [Boehner] is a friend of mine. They could have used my house, because I would love to show him some highway projects down south that he just won't budge on."
In the transportation legislation likely to pass Congress today, Boehner has worked to exclude federal earmarks, often used as a tool in Congress -- by people including Rahall and the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. -- to send federal funding to finance locally backed highway projects.
A former minister, Snuffer is a "commercial specialist" today for Nationwide Insurance, according to his biography posted by the West Virginia State Legislature.
Snuffer holds a bachelor's degree from Bluefield State University. He also attended Mountain State University in Beckley and the Word of Faith Leadership and Bible Institute in Dallas, Texas.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.