Last Push for Votes for W.Va. Governor

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Time is ticking down as the race for West Virginia's next Governor continues to heat up with only a day to go before voters head to the polls.

Tuesday is voting day across the state for the special gubernatorial election.

Both sides are seeing the numbers really tighten up, enough for many to predict a toss up.

"There's a lot of momentum moving in our direction right now," Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart said. "We're quite excited with where we stand in this campaign."

Campaign organizers say volunteer supporters are out in force making calls and going door to door. caught up with both candidates late last week.

Democratic candidate Earl Ray Tomblin is running on his experience with 36 years in government.

Much of that was in the West Virginia Legislature.

"What we've got to concentrate on in this campaign is what we can do in West Virginia and I think we've made our state a business friendly state," Earl Ray Tomblin said. "That encourages people like Macys or Amazon or Alcan to expand jobs in the state and I think what we're doing here, we're doing it right."

Tomblin's platform is focused on creating more jobs and lowering taxes.

But the Republican challenger says he knows about business since he's run many of his own.

Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney is vowing to change the state's direction.

"I've been in a lot of communities and people understand what it's all about," Bill Maloney said. "We want to make it easier for people to be in business in West Virginia, keep our kids here."

Maloney's other ideas include improving the business climate in the mountain state by fixing the court system and cleaning up the tax code.

Both candidates say it's a choice to continue on the same path or start on a new one.

"Do you want to keep making steady progress in West Virginia or do you want to take a huge risk with someone with no experience," Democratic Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro said. "Earl Ray has a record he can be proud of but Bill Maloney when you ask about specifics about what he's going to do for West Virginia -- he has no specifics."

Maloney supporters describe him as a job creator and say Tomblin is a career politician.

"A governor sets the tone and he'll be surrounded by a lot of folks who know a lot about government," Stuart said. "It's not a question about having no experience."

Recently attack ads have tied Tomblin to President Barack Obama.

But the Tomblin campaign has recently been putting out more commercials featuring former governor and Junior State Senator Joe Manchin.

"It's just one voter at a time," Scarbro said. "Education and motivation and we're trying to do both."

"We're working the phones, we're going door to door, we're doing everything we possibly can to get voters to the polls on Tuesday," Stuart said. "It's a critically important election."

There are three third-party candidates running in the special election including Bob Baber, Marla Ingles and Henry Bertram.

Polls open at 6:30 Tuesday morning and close at 7:30 p.m.

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