On Wednesday, the Friends of Coal group issued a statement congratulating Tomblin for winning the special gubernatorial election.
Tomblin had been endorsed by the Friends of Coal during the campaign.
“The Friends of Coal would like to congratulate Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on his hard-fought victory over GOP challenger Bill Maloney in yesterday’s gubernatorial race,” the press release said. “Both men earned our respect for the way in which they conducted themselves in this election.
“While the debate was frank and open on many issues, there were far more areas of agreement than disagreement – on lowering taxes, on creating jobs and reining in an out-of-control federal bureaucracy — but most of all they agree on the importance of coal to the future of West Virginia.
“With the election of Gov. Tomblin, our state will continue to move forward, as we sustain the fight against the real issues that confront us and work together to find the answers,” the press release continued. “Gov. Tomblin has proven himself to be a strong, capable leader during his time in the State Senate and as Acting Governor. We are confident, as governor, he will continue the fight to free our state's primary industry — coal — from the assault by the Obama EPA.”
The Friends of Coal release said the group is anxious to work with tomblin to help build a better future for West Virginia and to protect its jobs.
The West Virginia Coal Association is the nation’s largest state coal industry trade association, with more than 300 members representing producing companies, vendors and service providers. Founded in 1915, the Association represents 98 percent of the production of coal in the state. It is located in Charleston.
Tomblin won the election by getting 49 percent of the state’s vote, while Maloney received 47 percent.
Tomblin is the 35th governor of West Virginia. A Chapmanville native, he is also the longest-serving senate president in state history. He is married to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and they have a son, Brent, who attends Marshall University.