West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Endorses Tomblin

By westvirginia on September 7, 2011
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By Steven Allen Adams | West Virginia Watchdog

CHARLESTON –Both labor, and now business, are endorsing the Democratic candidate in the Oct. 4 special election for West Virginia’s next governor.

Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor and Democratic candidate for governor, received the endorsement of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce today. The endorsement comes after the West Virginia AFL-CIO endorsed Tomblin on Saturday.

“The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce clearly understands that Earl Ray Tomblin is the best candidate when it comes to creating an environment that encourages job growth,” said Chris Stadelman, spokesperson for the Tomblin campaign. “Businesses appreciate the fact that our state has a fair, stable tax base and has avoided the uncertainty plaguing many others around the country.”

The chamber made the endorsement through their political action arm, The Chamber PAC. In a press release, Steve Roberts, president of the state Chamber of Commerce, said both candidates have a lot in common, but chose Tomblin based on his “experience, leadership and ability to work with the Legislature.”

“During his 30-plus years in the Legislature, (Acting) Governor Tomblin has a solid record of working to create jobs for West Virginians.  He has led efforts to reform medical malpractice, privatize workers’ compensation, reduce taxes, advance energy development, support the creation of an intermediate appellant court and aggressively pursue fairness in jobs-related state regulations. The committee had a challenging decision to choose between the two candidates, but after carefully weighing all the facts, the committee chose (Acting) Governor Tomblin and his outstanding record of accomplishment and leadership,” Roberts said.

The endorsement comes even after Tomblin signed the House of Delegates redistricting plan into law. The chamber campaigned actively for a 100 single-member district plan. Instead, then House reduced the number of multi-member districts. It also comes after Public Policy Polling released their poll this morning showing a six-point gap between Tomblin and his Republican opponent, businessman Maloney.

“Earl Ray Tomblin had a 30-point lead a few weeks ago and now the race is a toss-up according to pollsters,” said Michelle Yi, spokesperson for the Maloney campaign. “Earl Ray may be the best choice for lobbyists, political insiders and the good old boy network, but the polls show that more and more working families, small business owners and everyday, God-fearing West Virginians are turning toward Bill Maloney, who isn’t a career politicians and knows how to create real jobs for real people.”

Over the weekend Tomblin received the endorsement of the state AFL-CIO, despite AFL-CIO president Kenny Perdue calling Tomblin “anti-working family” during the Democratic primary. The state’s largest union endorsed House Speaker Rick Thompson in the primary.

“Earl Ray is proud to have the support of business, labor and residents all over this state,” Stadelman said. “West Virginians support Earl Ray because they know he is one of them and will continue to work tirelessly to improve the state. Much like Joe Manchin, Earl Ray Tomblin has a history of working with people from all sides to find creative solutions to our state’s problems, and he will continue to do that as governor.”

The special election is Oct. 4. Other candidates are Mountain Party’s Bob Henry Baber, American Third Position‘s Harry Bertram, and independent candidate Marla Ingels.

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