Gubernatorial election set for Oct. 4

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Jan 21, 2011


CHARLESTON -- Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday issued a proclamation calling for a special gubernatorial election to be held this fall.

According to the two-page proclamation, the special election will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

"After consulting with the Secretary of State, and reviewing the West Virginia Constitution, the October 4, 2011 date became the obvious choice for the new election," Tomblin said in a statement.

"This date provides the Secretary of State's Office with ample time to certify the election results. This date also enables the newly elected Governor to take the oath of office prior to November 15, 2011 as mandated in the opinion of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals which was issued earlier this week."

In addition to the proclamation, Tomblin has submitted a bill to the state Legislature to call for a primary to select candidates for the election, his office said.

"Now is the time for the Legislature to get to work on this important right of the people to elect their Governor," Tomblin said.

The legislation would call for a primary election on Monday, June 20 -- West Virginia Day.

The state Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Tomblin must issue a proclamation calling for a special election later this year.

According to the Court's opinion, West Virginia code states that no one can serve as acting governor for more than one year.

Tomblin, who had argued an election didn't need to be held until 2012, said in a press conference late Tuesday that he would abide by the Court's ruling.

The state Senate President, who began acting as governor in November, says the current law calling for a nominating convention must be changed.

While the Court, in its opinion, said a convention is "within the legislative prerogative" and does not violate the state constitution, a primary election seems to be preferred by most lawmakers and state officials.

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