West Virginians Head to Polls for Special Governor’s Election

Oct 3, 2011 7:18pm

In a race that has continually narrowed in the past few months, West Virginia acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will attempt to make his stay in the governor’s mansion official today in a special election against Republican businessman Bill Maloney.

Tomblin, the former state Senate president, began the race with a significant lead in the polls, but his edge his dwindled after the Republican Governors Association began running a series of ads linking Tomblin to President Obama’s health care plan.

The RGA has poured $3.4 million into the race, according to the Washington Post. And while the RGA has not released the exact price tag on the ad buys, they ran during Sunday football games in the D.C. media market, an undoubtedly pricey slot.

According to the Post, a group allied with the Democratic Governors Association has spent about $2.4 million to support Tomblin, who has served as acting governor since former Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin won a special election in November for the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat in Congress.

Tomblin campaign spokesman Chris Stadelman said “the gap has certainly narrowed” since the RGA ads started running about two weeks ago. Stadelman said the race is “certainly going to be close.”

Read more about the West Virginia governor’s race here.

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