CHARLESTON - Just three months since his special election win, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is returning to the campaign trail after filing Thursday to seek a full term as the state's chief executive.
The 59-year-old Democrat said he plans to highlight the state's continuing post-recession rebound, and herald several recent successes in attracting jobs. The latter includes the $40 million facility that energy sector service supplier Baker Hughes plans to build, which will employ 275 people.
"We've got a lot of positive things going on in this state," Tomblin told The Associated Press on Thursday. "People approve of the way we've been handling things."
But West Virginia's economy remains fragile. The unemployment rate stayed at 7.9 percent in December when adjusted for seasonal trends. The unadjusted rate rose from 7.1 percent to 7.7 percent. Both remain below U.S. rates.
Last year's close special election victory allowed Tomblin to finish the term left by now-U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin. With other contenders expected, that race's other candidate so far is Ralph William Clark. The Morgantown Republican also ran last year and lost in his party's primary.
The candidate filing deadline is Jan. 28. Others who have joined the ballot this week include Circuit Judge Jim Rowe. The Greenbrier County Democrat filed in the two-seat state Supreme Court race.
Raleigh County lawyer Bill Lester, a Republican, has filed for the U.S. House of Representatives. The state's three congressional districts remain undefined because of a pending federal court challenge,
All 100 House of Delegates seats are up for election, and 126 people have filed for those. Another 21 West Virginians are running for state Senate, where 17 seats are on the ballot.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.