CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Citing the illness of a close family member, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney's campaign manager left the campaign this week, eight weeks before West Virginia's Oct. 4 special election.
In an email sent just after noon on Tuesday, Matt Dabrowski said a close relative is ill and the prognosis is bleak.
The Maloney campaign also released its first TV ads Wednesday morning in a statewide ad buy, according to the campaign. The ads (titled "Resume" and "Job Creator") are meant to introduce Maloney to West Virginian voters.
Maloney's chief opponent, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, has been acting as governor since Nov. 15. That's given Tomblin an opportunity to get himself better known than he was as the long serving but camera-shy state Senate president.
While Maloney and Tomblin have both been traveling the state, observers have considered the race quiet so far.
Dabrowski was with Maloney from the beginning of the Morgantown businessman's campaign, which began in February and upset former Secretary of State Betty Ireland in the May 14 Republican primary.
The Maloney campaign continues with GOP operative Greg Thomas as its general consultant. Thomas worked last year to elect Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and also served as an aide to former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's political efforts.
Among the others on the Maloney campaign: deputy campaign manager Mik Carpenter, who managed Republican Spike Maynard's unsuccessful 2010 congressional race against Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.; media consultant Jonathan Poe with Rising Tide Media, a former campaign manager for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; direct mail consultant Martin Baker with Political Ink; and scheduler Roman Stauffer, a former staffer at the state Chamber of Commerce.
Dabrowski, a Connecticut native, said in his message, "I apologize for the suddenness of this departure, and if I've let you down.
"Please know that I'm sorry to be leaving on the threshold of our greatest victories.
"Having been with Bill and Sharon (Maloney) at the very beginning, just Bill and me in the car, living in the Cheat Lake cabin (for the first part) of the campaign, has been very fulfilling to me. This campaign has had ups and downs, but it will be victorious thanks to all of your efforts."
Dabrowski previously worked in West Virginia as spokesman for Maynard's 2010 race.
Contact writer Ry Rivard at ry.riv...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.