Sep 7, 2011- W.Va. Chamber Endorses Tomblin

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin in the special election for governor.

The political action committee of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that it's backing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) in the special election for governor this October.

Tomblin and Republican Bill Maloney, who has focused his campaign on his business background and ability to create jobs, made their pitches to the chamber last week at the organization's annual meeting in White Sulphur Springs.

During the primary, the chamber endorsed Tomblin, Maloney and former Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R).

The chamber's president, Steve Roberts, said the following in a statement emailed to reporters:

“During his thirty-plus years in the Legislature, Governor Tomblin has a solid record of working to create jobs for West Virginians. He has led efforts to reform medical malpractice, privatize workers’ compensation, reduce taxes, advance energy development, support the creation of an intermediate appellant court and aggressively pursue fairness in jobs-related state regulations. The committee had a challenging decision to choose between the two candidates, but after carefully weighing all the facts, the committee chose Governor Tomblin and his outstanding record of accomplishment and leadership."

State Democratic Chairman Larry Puccio released the following statement in response to the Chamber endorsement as well as the previously announced AFL-CIO endorsement.

“While Earl Ray works to create more jobs and lower taxes, his right-wing opponent wants to make sure our state economy goes in reverse,” Puccio said. “Bill Maloney is on record opposing the incentives necessary to help Macy’s create thousands of jobs in the Eastern Panhandle. Earl Ray has created the kind of climate businesses want to be part of, but Bill Maloney would stop all of the state’s progress with his out-of-touch ideas about economic development.”

Maloney campaign spokesperson Michelle Yi also released a statement:

"Earl Ray Tomblin had a 33-point lead a few weeks ago and now the race is a toss-up according to pollsters. Earl Ray may be the best choice for lobbyists, political insiders and the good old boy network, but the polls show that more and more working families, small business owners and everyday, God-fearing West Virginians are turning toward Bill Maloney, who isn't a career politicians and knows how to create real jobs for real people."

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