West Virginia gets jump on election season

| 10/5/2011

The race for governor in West Virginia was settled Tuesday, Oct. 4, with acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin emerging the victor over businessman Bill Maloney. More states will vote next month for governors and state lawmakers in a precursor to the 2012 presidential election.

In West Virginia, Tomblin received 50 percent of the vote in the special election to keep a hold of the seat given to him a year ago when then-Gov. Joe Manchin stepped down after winning a U.S. Senate seat. Tomblin, a Democrat, was the automatic choice at the time because he was president of the West Virginia Senate.

Maloney, a Morgantown Republican, finished about 8,000 votes behind Tomblin, who is not assured of a long tenure. He must run for re-election next fall for a full four-year term.

In less than five weeks voters in Kentucky will also cast ballots for governor. Louisiana and Mississippi residents also can cast ballots for the governor’s seat, as well as state legislators. New Jersey and Virginia residents also will elect state legislators.

Tuesday’s election results keep the Republican lead in gubernatorial seats at 29-20. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an Independent.

The breakdown is sure to change next year when 11 states will cast ballots for governor. Seven Democrats and two Republicans can run for re-election. Only Indiana and Montana are assured new leadership because both governors are term-limited.

Seats in eight legislative chambers are up for grabs this fall – a far cry from the 88 chambers one year ago. The 2012 elections will include 86 chambers accounting for 81 percent of the country’s state legislative seats.

OOIDA encourages truckers who have not yet registered to vote or requested an absentee ballot to get involved. Visit TruckVote.com and click on “How to register” for information on voting in your home state.

Truckers who do not have Web access – or those who have questions or need assistance – can call the OOIDA Membership Department at 800-444-5791, Ext. 4906.