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Ex-coal executive Blankenship plans Senate run in West Virginia


Jenkins wasn't immediately available for comment. West Virginia is no stranger to coal bosses in higher office. Last year, Jim Justice, a coal and real estate mogul, was elected governor as a Democrat. In August, at a rally alongside Trump, Justice ...


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Ari Natter and Tim Loh, Bloomberg Published 1:33 pm, Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Byrd U.SCourthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, on Dec3, 2015Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Calvin Mattheis/ © 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP" class="landscape" /> Byrd U.SCourthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, on Dec3, 2015."> Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Calvin Mattheis. Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Donald Blankenship, former chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co., as he exits the Robert CByrd U.SCourthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, on Dec3, 2015. Donald Blankenship, former chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co., as he exits the Robert CByrd U.SCourthouse in Charleston, West Virginia, on Dec3, 2015. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Calvin Mattheis. /**/ Ex-coal executive Blankenship plans Senate run in West Virginia 1 / 1 Back to Gallery /* 768) { document.write('); document.write('); if (typeof hearstPlaceAd !== 'undefined') hearstPlaceAd("TMP300_3"); document.write(''); } /*]]>*/ Donald Blankenship, the former Massey Energy chief executive who went to prison in the wake of a 2010 mine explosion that left 29 dead, plans to run as a Republican candidate for for the U.SSenate in West Virginia, according to news organizations in the state. Blankenship filed federal election papers to run as a Republican, Charleston, West Virginia-based television station WCHS and other outlets reportedBlankenship couldn't be reached for commentThe Federal Election Commission said it hadn't received any documents for his candidacy. In the Republican primary, Blankenship would face off against at least two other candidates, U.SRepEvan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick MorriseyThe winner would face incumbent Democratic SenJoe Manchin in the 2018 election. Blankenship wrote in an Oct3 post on his website that Manchin has failed to "successfully advocate for effective mine safety regulations." Blankenship served a year in prison after being convicted of a misdemeanor charge for orchestrating a conspiracy to violate mine safety rules before the April 2010 deaths of 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia. "We have every confidence the people of West Virginia will see through his pathetic attempts to blame others for his actions," Phil Smith, a United Mine Workers of America spokesman said in an email when asked about Blankenship's run"They will render the same judgment on the criminal Don Blankenship that a West Virginia jury did: guilty as charged, and unworthy of holding any office." The former coal executive, who has referred to himself as an "American political prisoner," has argued his criticism of President Barack Obama and his support of Republican political candidates made him the target of a politically motivated case over the mine disaster. Raised in West Virginia's rural back country, Blankenship has been one of the coal industry's loudest boosters, spending millions of dollars over the years backing state politicians and judges who might be friendly to coal and referring to global warming as a hoaxIn May, he called on President Donald Trump to split the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration into two pieces. "Everyone has a right to run for public office," Morrisey said in a statement"I welcome anyone into this contest, but I will continue to run on my positive record of obtaining conservative results for coal miners and West Virginia taxpayers, fighting for the unborn, protecting gun rights, and ridding the state of this terrible opioid epidemic." A spokesman for Manchin, who his race in 2012 with 61 percent of the vote, declined to commentA former state legislator and governor known as a moderate, Manchin has managed to remain popular in a state that has been tilting toward Republicans. Jenkins wasn't immediately available for comment. West Virginia is no stranger to coal bosses in higher officeLast year, Jim Justice, a coal and real estate mogul, was elected governor as a DemocratIn August, at a rally alongside Trump, Justice announced he's switching to become a RepublicanA week later, he said that Trump was "really interested" in his idea to create federal payments that would effectively bail out the state's coal industry. More Local News True Islam: Building bridges amid divisiveness Former Yale professor charged with theft while working at New... Tax debate could affect state homeowners with crumbling... Route 69 in Woodbridge closed due to motor vehicle accident Hamden police write 127 seat belt tickets from Nov20-24 New Haven tree lighting partnership presents media challenges Judge seeks info on city’s efforts in New Haven lead suit Gift card drive aims to give Greater New Haven teens a... Tweed New Haven Regional Airport celebrates the start of... 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The Senate is close to a final vote on the GOP tax bill —... /**/ View Comments

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