From prison to politics, ex-coal CEO set for Senate vote

Don Blankenship
The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former coal executive’s bid for the U.S. Senate is shaking up politics in the state of West Virginia.

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is among six candidates in the Republican Senate primary Tuesday, almost a year to the day since his release from a California prison.

Blankenship’s quest is to take down the man he blames for fueling public distrust of him: Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

The 68-year-old Blankenship served a one-year prison term on a misdemeanor conviction for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine. An explosion at the mine in 2010 killed 29 miners.