Ad wars heat up as West Virginia gubernatorial battle comes to a close
September 28th, 2011
12:33 PM ET
3 years ago

Ad wars heat up as West Virginia gubernatorial battle comes to a close

(CNN) - With six days left until a gubernatorial election in West Virginia, it seems Democrats are bringing out the big gun.

In the final television commercial of his campaign, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is going up on West Virginia airwaves Wednesday with an ad that highlights the support he's getting from Sen. Joe Manchin, a fellow Democrat, former governor, and one of the most popular politicians in the state.

"Working together, we put our state's financial house in order," says Manchin in the ad, as he stands next to Tomblin.

The ad continues with Tomblin saying that since he took over as governor, after Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate last year to fill the term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, he's continued to cut taxes and balance the budget. The commercial concludes with Manchin saying that "Earl Ray is the right man to keep West Virginia on the right course for a better future."

Tomblin, the former state Senate president, faces off October 4 against businessman Bill Maloney, the Republican nominee. Three independent or third party candidates are also on the ballot. The winner will fill out the final year of Manchin's gubernatorial term.

Tomblin has won the major union endorsements, but just as important is the backing he's received from the state Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association, two groups that normally support GOP candidates.

Even though Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans in the state when it comes to voter identification, the race appears to getting interesting as the campaign comes to a close.

In the past two weeks, the ad wars in the contest have heated up, with commercials from the Democratic Governors Association characterizing Maloney as an out of touch businessman in one spot, and a greedy businessman in another ad. The Republican Governors Association has fired back with ads describing Tomblin as a career politician and suggesting that he's used his years in the state legislature to benefit his family's greyhound breeding business.

Because of heating up of the ad wars, and because of the Democrats' loss earlier this month in a special congressional election in a district long dominated by the party, the contest in West Virginia is now firmly in the national political spotlight.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Isn't Maloney the guy who actually lives in Florida? Yes, he's been living there with his wife for years. He just happens to own a house in WV.

    If he could run, then why couldn't Carl Lewis run in NJ? At least Lewis has actually been living in his district for the past 3.5 years. Rules said that it had to be 4.0.

    September 28, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Llama Llama Duck

    I live in the state, and this race is a mess. The daily flyers in the mail, the telemarketing calls as late as 10pm, the trucks driving around with massive plywood marquees set up in their beds...all of it unapologetically "smear". I'm sick of the Cirque du Les Incompetent. Both candidates are reprehensible. Santorum, please feel free to hop over the Mason-Dixon and fix this mess.

    September 28, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Terry, VA

    I hope Manchin endorses Tomblin. That will seal Manchin's fate as a senator. He barely won the special election to fill the vacancy left by Byrd. Manchin won't win in 2012 and that will put another Repub in the senate.

    September 28, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Another businessman rethug just what WV needs!

    September 28, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. enough of lies

    yep, why not destroy WV more, take away the coal mines, stop the growth, make all of them live more in poverty, give them another Dem and a obama friend, just what Gods Country needs another "A" hole Dem running the great state of WV.

    September 28, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Obama/Biden 2012 -- Because 4 years of FAILURE just isn't enough

    If he could run, then why couldn't Carl Lewis run in NJ? At least Lewis has actually been living in his district for the past 3.5 years. Rules said that it had to be 4.0.
    ================================================================================================
    Geez Rudy, diferent states, different laws. Not hard to understand. Besides, thought I had read that Carl Lewis was even voting in other states during the 4 years he claimed to be a resident of NJ. Do you Democrats just want to suspend all election laws? Sometimes I think so.

    September 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. MTATL67

    The Republicans are in a lot more trouble than folks think. When Congressional Republicans have not passed a single piece of legislation or proposed a single idea than cut taxes and deregulation (which we all know lead to the housing crash) that was a huge part of why we are in this mess. They have allied them with extremist that booed a soldier sitting in Iraq defending their right to boo him and chanted "Let him die". They have given $260,000 for a squirrel sanctuary in Tennessee but then hold up funding FEMA with 2011 being the worst year for disasters. Because they want cuts to the budget. Republicans hear is an idea no $260,00 for squirrel or $200,000 for a simulator in Kentucky. The GOP is the party of “NO”- No plan, No ideas, No diversity…just no, no and more no.

    September 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Democrats are killing this country, with their social programs, just like the social programs in Greece, are killing Greece.

    Time to get back on track, by rejecting the Dems, and their spendthrift ways.

    September 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. W l jones

    When I see the word Virgina whether it both only only person come to mind Sen. Byrd What a Stateman what a man what a fellow American. Bless.

    September 28, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    The hicks in WV are almost as ignorant as the hicks in MS and TX, and look at all three states - lowest in education and most everything else. Vote republican and keep 'em stupid enough to vote republican again. Then take the money to the mansion in Florida. That's how it works, folks.

    September 28, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |