Carmichael, 52, who currently is serving as the Minority Whip in the House of Delegates, works as an executive at Frontier Communications.
"I'm happy," Carmichael said by telephone Tuesday night. "It took a long time to get to this point. I'm excited. I feel good."
The delegate turned senator's voice was light over the phone as he began to sing in a line from James Brown's hit "I Feel Good." He was picking up campaign signs in Jackson County Tuesday night when his opponent, Bright, called to concede.
"We're excited to put forth an agenda that will move West Virginia forward," Carmichael said. "We can be so much better than we are now.
"For anyone to suggest we're doing well, I just want to say 'are you kidding me?' The state is ranked last in business friendliness... education performance," Carmichael said. "We are not conducting the affairs of this state in a manner the people of this state deserve and we want to put forth an agenda that will put this state forward."
Carmichael said an advantage he held over Bright was that he has experience in the Legislature. He said he would be able to hit the ground running.
He said he and Bright ran a clean campaign. Bright, who is finishing up his second term as Jackson County Sheriff, called Carmichael Tuesday evening to concede the race.
"We ran it the way it was supposed to be run," Carmichael said. "My support was more from the businesses and his was more from the unions. We had two contrasting views in the campaign and that the way it should be."
Bright, a former Marine and state trooper, was proud of the campaign he ran.
"I ran a good, clean campaign," Bright said. "There wasn't any mudslinging by me or my opponent and there was anything campaign-wise I would have done differently."
Bright, according to MetroNews' online election results, took Jackson, Mason and Roane counties, but had a hard time in the heavily Republican Putnam County, where Carmichael took more votes.
The 60-year-old sheriff said he is retired from public life as of Dec. 31 when he leaves office and plans on enjoying his retirement. He plans to hunt and fish and spend more time with his family as well as get more involved in church.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.