Earl Ray Tomblin was elected the governor of West Virginia in a special election Tuesday after weeks of a campaign filled with negative attack ads.
The Democrat edged by Republican newcomer Bill Maloney, taking 50 percent to 47 percent of the vote.
State election officials estimated the turnout at 25 percent, with more than 303,718 votes cast.
"We tried to stay on message as much as possible," Tomblin told to the Associated Press before addressing his supporters Tuesday night. "We do have a stable budget and a stable economy in West Virginia. That's what people are looking for."
Both national parties spent millions of dollars during the campaign.
Businessman Maloney and the GOP sought to make it a Republican upset by invoking the name of unpopular President Barack Obama and his economic policies.
Tomblin has served as acting governor since last November, when Joe Manchin resigned to campaign for and win a Senate seat.
Republicans have been upset with Tomblin for his refusal to join other states that sued the Obama administration over the health care law.
However, even though Obama lost the state in 2008 and remains unpopular, Democrats out number Republicans in the Mountain State nearly two to one.