CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Although much has been made of the indecision by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin regarding the presidential race, most West Virginia Democratic Party leaders are openly supporting President Obama for re-election in November.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said, "I've made no secret of the fact that I don't want to see Mitt Romney elected. I support our president and the entire Democratic ticket, top to bottom. We must think about what these choices mean for West Virginia and for policy and programs that West Virginia needs."
Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., and state Treasurer John Perdue also said they are backing Obama's re-election.
Perdue received a standing ovation at the Democratic Party State Convention earlier this month, when he urged delegates to support the campaign to re-elect Obama.
Perdue said he does not agree with all of Obama's policies, but added Obama has had to make some tough decisions while in the White House.
Tomblin and Manchin, D-W.Va, have not indicated whether they are supporting Obama.
Both have expressed disagreement with some of Obama's policies, particularly in the area of environmental regulations, which they say are harming the coal industry.
Bill Maloney, a Morgantown businessman who lost his race for governor against then-acting-Gov. Tomblin in the October 2011 special election, is running against Tomblin again this year. Last week, a Republican Party news release stated, "Tomblin's party-imposed deadline to make a decision in the presidential race is looming. According to his party's delegate selection plan, he has until June 19 to announce his support for Barack Obama."
Maloney said, "By the close of business on Tuesday, Earl Ray has a big decision to make."
But the Democratic Party will apparently not require delegates to the Democratic Party's National Convention to announce which candidates they support by Tuesday. Larry Puccio, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said, "Mr. Maloney is apparently not only an expert within his party, he has also become an expert with the Democratic Party."
The state Democratic Party, Puccio said, has no rules requiring delegates to indicate who they support before the National Convention convenes.