Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin has won the special election to replace West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who left office late last year after winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.
The race was fraught with negative ads from both sides and narrowed in the final weeks. The national parties spent millions of dollars on each campaign. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Tomblin had 50 percent of the vote compared with Republican Bill Maloney’s 47 percent, according to unofficial results. Tomblin campaigned as the rightful heir to Manchin. He said together they helped shape policies that created pain-free balanced budgets and revenue surpluses at a time when other states continued to struggle during the recession. “We tried to stay on message as much as possible,” Tomblin told to The Associated Press before addressing his supporters Tuesday night. “We do have a stable budget and a stable economy in West Virginia. That’s what people are looking for.”
Sen. Manchin, who replaced the late Sen. Robert Byrd, missed two critical votes on the repeal of DADT, but said he would have voted against both bills had he been present and not “celebrating Christmas with my family.”
RELATED: Tomblin’s family has earned over $4M from legislation that benefits his family business. That bill was approved by the West Virginia Senate Finance Committee when Tomblin was its chairman.