West Virginia: Pro-Life Tomblin, Maloney Win Governor Races

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2011   |   11:50AM   |   Charleston, WV

In West Virginia, voters went to the polls and selected pro-life candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries for governor — ensuring the state will have a pro-life governor again after November.

Republican candidate Bill Maloney and Democratic candidate Earl Ray Tomblin won their respective primaries. On the Republican side, the Secretary of State’s unofficial election results show Maloney won the Republican primary with 27,575 votes by defeating former Secretary of State Betty Ireland in an upset. Ireland had a 2-1 polling led just weeks before the election. Maloney also defeated State Sen. Clark Barnes and State Del. Mitch Carmichael and other candidates in the crowded field.

On the Democratic side, Tomblin won the Democratic primary yesterday with 51,220 votes to top Natalie Tennant — who had the support of the strongly pro-abortion group Emily’s List, a political action committee that supports Democrat women who support abortion on demand, partial-birth abortion and tax funding of abortion. State Treasurer John Perdue, State House Speaker Rick Thompson, State Sen. Jeff Kessler and activist Arne Moltis ran in the primary race as well.

Tomblin has compiled a pro-life record which encompasses voting for passage of these successful bills: the Women’s Right to Know Law, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and an Ultrasound Option Requirement, and Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. He has also voted to secure Parental Notice and in 2005 sponsored a Respect Life Day resolution.

The pro-life group West Virginians for Life endorsed Tomblin in the Democratic primary, saying, “Based on this demonstration of his pro-life commitment. West Virginians for Life is confident that Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will protect unborn babies and their mothers by signing pro-life legislation.”

Tomblin responded by saying, “I believe in the sanctity of life and I am proud to have received the support of the West Virginians for Life.  I admire the work they do to protect our state’s unborn children, and I will continue to do my part as governor of West Virginia.”

On the Republican side, WVFL did not endorse Maloney but only because each of the Republican candidates he faced also shared his pro-life commitment. West Virginians for Life said “the Republican frontrunners are all pro-life, therefore the WVL PAC did not endorse in the Special Republican Primary for Governor.”

Voters will have the chance to decide who will be the next West Virginia governor on October 4 and Tomblin is expected to win in the Democratic state. Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber will face the two major party candidates and the winner will serve out the term of former Gov. Joe Manchin, who was elected to the U.S. Senate to complete the term of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

As the president of the Senate, the state constitution had Tomblin acting as governor since November 15, when Manchin became the U.S. senator.