CHARLESTON -- Joe Manchin will be West Virginia's next U.S. Senator.
The current governor, a Democrat, defeated Morgantown businessman John Raese in Tuesday's vote. Manchin will take the seat that was held for decades by Robert C. Byrd, who died this summer.
Manchin had appointed attorney Carte Goodwin to fill the Senate seat until Tuesday's election.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting at midnight, Manchin had 53 percent of the vote compared to Raese's 44 percent. Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson had 2 percent, and Constitution Party candidate Jeff Becker had 1 percent.
Manchin now will finish out the final two years of Byrd's term.
"We made tremendous strides in the state," Manchin said after his victory. "And the reason we did that is because we trusted one another. We worked together. We put our state first, and it worked so well for us. And we're going to continue to fight for West Virginia every day of our lives."
Manchin quickly will become a U.S. senator after stepping down as governor. State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will take over as governor until a new election for that post can be held, likely next year.
Tomblin, a Democrat, congratulated Manchin on his victory.
"It is with a great deal of pride that I congratulate Gov. Joe Manchin on his victory and election to the United States Senate," Tomblin said in a release. "As he celebrates the victory of a long and hard fought campaign, I and my wife Joanne extend to him and to the first lady Gayle Manchin our very best wishes along with the assurance their service will continue to bring great distinction to West Virginia and its people.
"Gov. Manchin has served West Virginia for the past six years as a strong and visionary leader and he takes with him to his new post the same high standards that he brought to the governorship. I look forward to working with him, to continue the path of progress which we have partnered."
In the state's three Congressional races, incumbent Republican Shelley More Capito and Democrat Nick Rahall retained their posts, defeating Virginia Lynch Graf and former Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard, respectively. In the first district race to replace ousted Democrat Alan Mollohan, Republican David McKinley narrowly defeated Democrat Mike Oliverio by 734 votes after after more than 175,000 were cast.
In the race for an unexpired two-year term on the state Supreme Court, sitting Justice Thomas McHugh pulled away from Republican challenger and current Circuit Judge John Yoder. With 99 percent of statewide precincts reporting, McHugh was maintaining a steady 51 percent to 49 percent lead at midnight.
In a contentious race for Kanawha Circuit Judge, sitting Judge Carrie Webster edged Republican challenger Dan Greear by 524 votes -- 28,707 to 28,183. Greear also lost a narrow race in 2008 for state Attorney General to incumbent Darrell McGraw.