Acting West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) won a special election for the office today, the Associated Press reported.
The sleepy contest to replace former Gov. Joe Manchin (D), who was elected in November to the Senate, became competitive in its final days.
The Republican Governors Association made a last-minute grab for undecided voters with a television ad that accused Tomblin of implementing “Obamacare” while other governors across the country fought the president’s legislation. But the GOP candidate, wealthy businessman Bill Maloney, was plagued by extortion headlines, and a final poll showed the race in a dead heat.
Tomblin was able to insulate himself enough from the president, whose job approval rating in the state was just 28 percent, to pull off the victory. With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Tomblin had 50 percent of the vote compared with Maloney’s 46 percent, according to unofficial results posted by the AP.
Tomblin will serve the remaining year of Manchin’s term.