A mining company CEO who did time in prison for conspiring to violate mine safety in connection with a massive mine explosion is running against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia.
Don Blankenship did a year-long stint in a California prison after getting convicted of willfully breaking safety standards. He got convicted after the Upper Big Branch disaster that resulted in the deaths of 29 miners in 2010.
Manchin won election in 2012 with 60 per cent of the vote, but is considered vulnerable because of the voting patterns in the state he represents. He voted through most of President Trump’s nominees, and votes with the president about two-thirds of the time.
A spokesman confirmed the ex-Massey Energy CEO will run against Manchin. Blankenship is a longtime critic of Manchin, wchstv reported. Manchin said in a statement ‘He won’t be distracted by [Senate GOP leader] Mitch McConnell’s backroom deals in Washington, D.C.’
Blankenship spokesman Greg Thomas said the formal filing was expected Wednesday. The Senate clerk’s office says it hasn’t received it yet.
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