Don Blankenship Announces Third-Party Senate Run Despite West Virginia’s ‘Sore Loser’ Law

In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, W.Va. West Virginia gave Trump his widest margin of any state in 2016, a 42-percentage point pounding of Democrat Hillary Clinton that had Republicans giddy over …
AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File

Coal businessman Don Blankenship announced Monday he will run for the West Virginia U.S. Senate seat as a third-party candidate, despite the state’s “sore loser” law.

Blankenship lost by 15 points to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the Senate Republican primary on May 8. Despite his loss, he will attempt to run for U.S. Senate again as a third-party candidate for the Constitution Party.

West Virginia secretary of state spokesman Steve Adams said West Virginia’s “sore loser” law prohibits candidates who ran as a candidate for a major party to change their registration to a smaller party to take advantage of later filing dates.

The West Virginia secretary of state’s legal counsel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In his statement, Blankenship said, “Although the establishment will likely begin their efforts against us by mounting a legal challenge to my candidacy, we are confident that – if challenged – our legal position will prevail, absent a politically motivated decision by the courts.”

Nachama Soloveichik, a member of the Morrisey team, said in a statement to Breitbart News, “Patrick Morrisey is the only candidate who can defeat Sen. Joe Manchin and who will stand with President Trump for West Virginians. We will comment on any ballot issues as they may arise.”

Before the Republican primary, Blankenship told CBS News he could run as a third-party candidate.

Blankenship suggested before the Republican primary in May that he may challenge Donald Trump for president “if he gets in [his] way.”

Morrisey slammed Blankenship in a statement in May for suggesting he may want to run against the president.

Attorney General Morrisey said:

It turns out Don Blankenship isn’t concerned with West Virginia at all, but with his own vanity. The choice in this Senate race is clear: A proven conservative fighter who will stand with President Trump vs. a narcissistic criminal who declared war on President Trump. It’s time for Don to grow up and put West Virginia’s conservative values first. If he can’t do that, then he should move back to Nevada where his legal residence is

The coal magnate also committed a social faux pas during the campaign when he referred to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s father as a “wealthy China person” who was “well-connected in China.” Secretary Chao is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife.

A recent poll suggested that Morrisey leads his Democratic rival, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), by two points.

Morrisey suggested in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in May that he can beat Sen. Joe Manchin in the general election. Morrisey said, “I think … you want that contrast – a conservative vs. a liberal who’s part of the swamp in Washington, and I can get those results.”

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