Tomblin Leading Maloney in WV Governor's Race - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Tomblin Leading Maloney in WV Governor's Race

CHARLESTON -

Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Republican challenger Bill Maloney are still fighting it out in the battle over who will be the state's next governor.

With approximately 55 percent of precincts reporting, Tomblin was leading Maloney 51 percent to 45 percent. Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson had so far accumulated 3 percent of the vote, and Libertarian David Moran had 1 percent of the vote.

This isn't the first time Tomblin and Maloney have faced off for the governor's office. The two competed last year in a special election for governor. Tomblin won that match with 149,202 votes to Maloney's 142,156.

Tomblin served as president of the West Virginia Senate from 1995 through 2011. After Sen. Robert C. Byrd passed away and then-Gov. Joe Manchin was elected to fill his seat, Tomblin became acting governor under the state constitution. The West Virginia Supreme Court then ruled a special election must be held and a governor elected to fill out Manchin's term. Tomblin beat out five Democrats, including Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, in a May 2011 special primary. He then faced off against Maloney in the October 2011 special general election. Tomblin was inaugurated as the state's 35th governor Nov. 14, 2011.

Since taking the helm as governor, Tomblin has overseen the passage of several pieces of legislation, including a mine safety bill, a bill banning texting while driving and a plan to pay down the state's retirement debt. In addition, the state has operated in the black and put a substantial amount of money into the rainy day fund.

Before running for governor in 2011, Maloney had never run for political office. The Morgantown businessman has said throughout the two campaigns that industry finds the state's business and climates too harsh, and his administration would cut taxes that could harm businesses and put in place legal reform that could attract new businesses to the state.