CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin won the West Virginia governor's race Tuesday.
Tomblin, who has been acting governor for the past year, will finish the final year of a term left vacant by Joe Manchin, who stepped down from the governor's post after he won a U.S. Senate seat.
The race was fraught with negative ads from both sides and narrowed in the final weeks. The national parties spent millions of dollars on each campaign.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Tomblin had 50 percent of the vote compared with Maloney's 47 percent, according to unofficial results.
Tomblin, a veteran state lawmaker, fended off questions about his mother's greyhound breeding business and efforts to tie him to Obama. Republicans were upset Tomblin didn't join a majority of other states who sued the administration over the health care plan.
Obama lost West Virginia in 2008 and remains wildly unpopular here, but Tomblin got a replay of last year's U.S. Senate special election, when Manchin beat back efforts to tie him to Obama.
1,868 of 1,883 precincts - 99 percent
x-Earl Ray Tomblin, Dem 149,769 - 50 percent
Bill Maloney, GOP 141,999 - 47 percent
Bob Henry Baber, Mnt 6,046 - 2 percent
Marla Ingels, Ind 2,852 - 1 percent
Harry Bertram, Oth 1,105 - 0 percent
Tomblin campaigned as the rightful heir to Manchin. He said together they helped shape policies that created pain-free balanced budgets and revenue surpluses at a time when other states continued to struggle during the recession.
But Tomblin wasn't as well known as Manchin, who resigned during his second term. Tomblin became acting governor because of his position as Senate president, a job he held longer than anyone else in the state.