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Perry praises Maloney at fundraiser

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited West Virginia on Wednesday to support Bill Maloney's campaign for governor. A Republican, Maloney is running against incumbent Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Perry was a Republican presidential candidate who bowed out of this year's primary as contenders like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul continued to challenge the presumptive nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. 

During a press conference at the Charleston Marriott, Perry urged West Virginians to keep "Washington at bay" by fighting federal "rules and regulations trying to fit us all in one box.

"Maloney has the American dream. He is an incredible story of success we should all be very supportive of," Perry said.

Perry praised Maloney for creating a "substantial, global, international drilling" business and for helping to rescue 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground in April 2010.

Throughout his press conference, Perry questioned the federal government's role in society, criticizing "over regulation, over taxation and over litigation. 

"We want a government that limits taxation, limits regulatory impacts and limits frivolous lawsuits.

"We need to push back on Washington, D.C. and its war on coal. He [Maloney] knows how out of control the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] is, especially in regard to West Virginia."

After the press conference, Perry was slated to attend a private party/fundraiser for Maloney's campaign. Tickets for the event were $500 to 1,000 per person, depending on whether supporters want a private reception and photographs, according to The Associated Press.

Perry said Texas currently has 21 lawsuits filed against the federal government, including one challenging Clean Air Act regulations.

During the Republican primary debates, Perry said Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital was "vulture capitalism."

A reporter asked Perry if he would "urge people to vote for the vulture capitalist this fall?"

Laughing, Perry said, "It didn't work. And I have already endorsed Mitt for president."

Perry believes "one of the greatest threats to West Virginia is to have Obama serve another four years.

"A lot of West Virginia Democrats will vote for you," Perry said to Maloney, who stood beside him during his remarks at the press conference.

"And if an inmate from Texas can get 40 percent of the vote, an endorsement from a governor of Texas can't hurt you," Perry told Maloney.

Perry was referring to Keith Judd, an inmate serving time in a Texarkana, Texas, prison, who received 41 percent of the vote in the May 8 presidential primary when he ran against Obama.

Perry concluded by saying, "Obama thinks government is the solution to every issue."

Last year, Tomblin beat Maloney in the October 4 special election to complete the gubernatorial term of Joe Manchin, who became a U.S. Senator and succeeded the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, also D-W.Va.

Less than 25 percent of the state's registered voters went to the polls that day. Six third-party, independent and write-in candidates also ran.

Tomblin ended up beating Maloney by 7,100 votes, a margin of 2.3 percent in the only race on the ballot.

Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.


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