West Virginia Attorney General (AG) Patrick Morrisey charged in a statement on Tuesday that “voters won’t be distracted by” coal businessman Don Blankenship’s efforts to run for U.S. Senate as a third-party candidate.
Blankenship reportedly obtained enough signatures to campaign for the West Virginia Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). The coal magnate hopes to run for the Constitution Party.
The West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has stated that he cannot rule whether Blankenship can run as a third-party candidate until he files the nomination and candidacy paperwork. West Virginia has a “sore loser” law that prevents candidates from accepting a party’s nomination after losing another party’s primary. Blankenship and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) lost to AG Morrisey in May for the state’s Senate Republican primary.
Morrisey contended that voters will not be distracted from Sen. Manchin’s liberal voting record. The Attorney General said, “Voters won’t be distracted by efforts to divert attention away from lying liberal Joe Manchin’s record of supporting pro-abortion policies, gun control, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign against coal miners.”
Blankenship threatened to run against President Donald Trump if he “gets in my way.”
President Donald Trump tweeted in May that Blankenship cannot win the primary election and suggested West Virginians should either vote for Morrisey or the establishment-backed Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV).
Blankenship previously served in prison for violating mine safety standards and led to the deaths of several miners. The coal magnate also infamously referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “Cocaine Mitch.”
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.
Meanwhile, Morrisey has attacked Sen. Manchin for being beholden to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and liberal elite donors.
Morrisey said in July, “Voters won’t let Sen. Manchin’s radical liberal allies buy this Senate seat. West Virginia knows that Manchin has sold out our West Virginia values and is now beholden to Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and his liberal elite donors.”