This article presents an unbiased comparison of the political positions and policies of Bill Maloney and Earl Ray Tomblin, the Republican and Democratic party candidates respectively for the 2012 gubernatorial elections in West Virginia. Earl Ray Tomblin is the incumbent governor; he defeated Maloney in October 2011 in a special election after then-incumbent Joe Manchin resigned.
Tomblin defeated Maloney again in the 2012 gubernatorial race.
Early Life and Career
Bill Maloney was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, and graduated from Lehigh University. He co-founded a drilling company in 1984, which specialized in drilling large-diameter shafts for coal, oil and natural gas. He has never held office before.
Earl Ray Tomblin was born in Logan County, West Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and an MBA from Marshall University. He was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1974 and was elected to the Senate in 1980. He became Senate President in 1995 and an acting governor in 2010 after Joe Manchin got elected to the US Senate. In a special election held on Oct'2011, Tomblin was elected as the Governor of West Virginia and will be running for a re-election in Nov'2012.
Differences in Economic Policy
Bill Maloney supports reforming the tax system to make it fairer. 
Earl Ray Tomblin believes that health care should be affordable and accessible to everyone. He petitioned for the healthcare coverage of uninsured children with family incomes of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. 
Earl Ray Tomblin opposes gay marriage, but does not believe in a constitutional amendment. 
Bill Maloney supports the right to bear arms. 
Earl Ray Tomblin supports the right to bear arms. 
Earl Ray Tomblin wants to focus on at-risk children to reduce high school and college drop-out rates. He also wants to focus on providing students with vocational skills, to increase the use of technology in skills, and increase the compensation given to teachers.
Bill Maloney has not spoken about energy policy.
Earl Ray Tomblin believes that West Virginia should continue drilling oil and natural gas to find energy independence. 
Opinion Poll Ratings
|Poll source|| Date(s)|
|Earl Ray Tomblin (D)||Bill Maloney (R)|
|R.L. Repass||August 22–25, 2012||56%||35%|
|R.L. Repass||April 25–28, 2012||60%||32%|