"Earl Ray Tomblin has been one of the most powerful politicians in the state for more than 15 years, but under his watch too many West Virginians continue to struggle to make ends meet," said Republicans Governors Association Executive Director Phil Cox. "Meanwhile, critical issues like the Marcellus Shale and solving the state's debt crisis -- which threatens thousands of state workers -- have been ignored." Tomblin will run against businessman Bill Maloney (R) in the general election on October 4. Maloney ran as a political outsider, defeating former Secretary of State Betty Ireland in the GOP race. Ireland was favored for much of the race but, in the face of Maloney's television ads -- propelled by the hundreds of thousands of dollars he put into his campaign -- Ireland did not mount a robust response, running just one television ad during the race. Whoever wins the October 4 election will immediately have to look ahead to running again in 2012 for a full four-year term.
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