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.

Comparison chart

Bill Maloney versus Earl Ray Tomblin comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartBill MaloneyEarl Ray Tomblin
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Bill MaloneyEarl Ray Tomblin
Political Party Republican Democrat
Hometown Morgantown, West Virginia Logan County, West Virginia
Date of birth 1958 March 15 1952
Tax Policy Supports reforming the tax system Supports reducing taxes
Healthcare Emphasize prevention and wellness programs Believes all should have access at an affordable price
Abortion Opposes legal abortion Opposes legal abortion
Gay Rights Opposes gay marriage Opposes gay marriage
Gun Rights Supports the right to bear arms Supports the right to bear arms
Education Supports educational reform, including greater investment in educational resources Supports reform, including increased vocational training
Energy Policy Has not spoken about energy policy Supports using coal to find energy independence
Logo of Republican(Elephant) and Democratic (Donkey) parties
Logo of Republican(Elephant) and Democratic (Donkey) parties

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

Tax Policy

Bill Maloney supports reforming the tax system to make it fairer. [1]

Earl Ray Tomblin aims to eliminate food tax, as well as reducing taxes on businesses. [2]

Healthcare Policy

Bill Maloney wants to emphasize prevention and wellness programs to increase general health in West Virginia. [3]

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. [4]

Social Issues


Bill Maloney opposes legal abortion. [5]

Earl Ray Tomblin opposes legal abortion. [6]. He supported a bill that would make abortion illegal once the fetus can feel pain. [7]

Gay rights

Bill Maloney opposes gay marriage. [8]

Earl Ray Tomblin opposes gay marriage, but does not believe in a constitutional amendment. [9]

Gun Rights

Bill Maloney supports the right to bear arms. [10]

Earl Ray Tomblin supports the right to bear arms. [11]

Education Policy

Bill Maloney wants to implement education reform, including raising teachers’ salaries as a reward for improved performance and invested in educational resources. [12]

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.

Energy Policy

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. [13]

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%


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