The Latest: Convicted ex-coal CEO kicks off US Senate bid

Don Blankenship
The Associated Press

LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on the Senate campaign of former coal executive Don Blankenship (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

A former coal company CEO who went to prison for charges arising from the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades has kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign, telling an audience that pro-coal President Donald Trump presents a real opportunity for West Virginia.

Blankenship received several ovations from the more than 100 supporters attending the town hall-styled event Tuesday evening in Logan.

He says having Trump and a Republican-controlled state Legislature gives us an opportunity to create jobs “that we cannot afford to miss” and “may never come again.”

Blankenship will face U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the May 8 GOP primary. Democrat Joe Manchin is seeking re-election.

The 67-year-old Blankenship was released from a federal prison in California last year after serving a one-year term.

Blankenship was sentenced in 2016 for a misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 explosion.

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6:25 a.m.

A former coal company CEO who went to prison for charges related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades is kicking off his U.S. Senate campaign with a town hall meeting for voters.

Ex-Massey Energy boss Don Blankenship is scheduled to attend the meeting Thursday night in Logan.

Blankenship will face U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the May 8 GOP primary. Democrat Joe Manchin is seeking re-election.

The 67-year-old Blankenship was released from a federal prison in California last year after serving a one-year term.

Blankenship was sentenced in 2016 for a misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 explosion.

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