Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, 59, holds a single-digit lead in polling over Bill Maloney, a businessman who is the Republican nominee, in what both sides expect to be the most competitive governor’s race this year. Both sides have dug deep into their pockets to fund the battle.
“I believe we’re the next red state,” Mr. Maloney told The Washington Times, referring to the GOP sweep throughout the Southeast. “We feel poised to do that in West Virginia.”
Mr. Maloney, who has never held elected office, is up against a seasoned veteran. First elected to the Legislature at 22, Mr. Tomblin became state Senate president in 1995 and stepped in last year to fill in for former Gov. Joe Manchin, who won the Senate seat vacated by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.