West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey argued that coal businessman Don Blankenship should drop out of the state’s GOP primary race, arguing that he violated campaign finance law and cannot beat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in the general election.
In a press conference on Sunday, Morrisey argued that Blankenship failed to submit a financial disclosure, violating campaign election law.
Morrisey said at the press conference:
My campaign will be informing his probation officer in Nevada about this issue right away, to determine if this refusal to comply with federal law violates the terms of his supervised release. West Virginians don’t need a candidate who may not even be able to campaign in the state against Joe Manchin.
Blankenship served a year in jail for conspiring to violate mine safety laws, which was related to an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners.
Blankenship’s campaign argued that failing to disclose his finances was a non-issue. Blankenship will reveal his finances after the West Virginia primary on Tuesday.
Greg Thomas, a Blankenship spokesman, said, “Mr. Morrisey is just having a tantrum. Everything will be OK in a few days.”
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that Blakenship cannot win the general election on Tuesday and suggested that West Virginians should either vote for Morrisey or the establishment-backed Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV).
Trump wrote on Monday, “To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!”
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Attorney General Morrisey told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview last week that he can beat Sen. Manchin in the general election. Morrisey told Breitbart News, “I think if you want that contrast – a conservative vs. a liberal who’s part of the swamp in Washington, and I can get those results.”