Image 01 Image 03

Blankenship Determined to Run for West Virginia Senate

Blankenship Determined to Run for West Virginia Senate

Headache for Republicans.

In May, former convict and coal CEO Don Blankenship announced his intention to run as a Constitution Party nominee for the West Virginia senate seat after he lost the GOP primary despite the state’s sore loser law.

Blankenship boasted on Monday that he has the signatures needed to file papers to get around the law.

From The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

It is still not clear whether Blankenship’s proposed candidacy change violates West Virginia’s “sore loser” law that restricts a candidate from accepting a political party’s nomination after having already lost in a primary.

According to a guide book listed on the West Virginia Secretary of State website, “candidates affiliated with a recognized political party who run for election in a primary election and who lose the nomination cannot change her or his voter registration to a minor party organization/unaffiliated candidate to take advantage of the later filing deadlines and have their name on the subsequent general election ballot.”

A spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of State said the office cannot rule on Blankenship’s candidacy until he files all the necessary nomination and candidacy paperwork, including more than 6,000 signatures. He has until Aug.1 to file.

Blankenship released this odd media advisory on Monday. He admits that the state will more than likely not certify him, yet plans to have a place on the ballot in November.

Blankenship came in third in the GOP primary so who knows how much his presence on the ballot will affect Republican candidate Patrick Morrisey, the state’s attorney general.

The Republicans want to flip West Virginia and felt they had a chance to unseat incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who is one of the more conservative Democrats in the chamber. President Donald Trump won the state with 67.9% of the votes and the governorship recently flipped from Democrat to Republican.

To make matters worse, a group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to cancel $750,000 worth of ads targeting Manchin. There’s not much recent polling, but a Monmouth University poll last month showed Manchin at 48% while Morrisey, sat at 39%. From CNN:

Another 4% back ex-con coal baron Don Blankenship, who lost the GOP primary in May and is now trying to run as the Constitution Party candidate. His bid is in question, however, because of West Virginia’s “sore loser” law.

Manchin holds a 49% to 42% lead over Morrisey without Blankenship in the race.
The incumbent Democrat maintains a similar lead over Morrisey when Monmouth uses different models to reflect historical midterm turnout and one with a Democratic surge.

Manchin’s lead comes even as the President remains widely popular in West Virginia, with 67% of voters in the state approving of his job performance compared with 29% who disapprove.

RealClearPolitics has the race as Lean Democrat. The Cook Political Report has it as a Toss-Up.

Other data may influence the Democrats to pour more money into saving Manchin’s seat. Republicans have a shot at flipping senate seats in Florida, Indiana, and North Dakota. The Republicans only have a one-seat advantage in the Senate, which obviously means the Democrats cannot afford to lose any race.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


I really don’t see how he gets around the “sore loser” law. Maybe he can get it thrown out, but I just don’t see it.

Bad news. But a silver lining: we get to be lectured by NeverTrumpers about party unity. Fun time.

He wants to make sure his buddy Joe Manchin gets reelected. What a guy.

So the law says he can’t run, he does not care, and he intends to fight the law – not metaphorically, but literally – and defeat the law.

Well, if judges are going to bend over and allow this, what can you really say?

    That should read “bend over backwards”.

    Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | July 24, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    He believes the law to be unconstitutional. He may even be correct: states are not entitled to add qualifications to seek federal office beyond those specified by the constitution, and if you look at it from the right angle “has not run in the primary of another party” can look like an additional qualification.

    Ulysses in reply to JBourque. | July 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I’d spin it this way. The law says that he has already run and he lost. So he cannot run a second time.

      Milhouse in reply to Ulysses. | July 25, 2018 at 2:58 am

      No, he hasn’t run yet. The election isn’t until November. An internal selection process within a political party is not an election.

    Arminius in reply to JBourque. | July 24, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    This guy doesn’t have good track record when it comes to fighting the law and winning. The last time he tried it he became a convicted felon and the court sentenced him to federal prison.

DieJustAsHappy | July 24, 2018 at 4:21 pm

“To make matters worse, a group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to cancel $750,000 worth of ads targeting Manchin.”

So, the Senate Majority Leader is looking for a bit of a cushion for the upcoming vote on Kavanaugh?

    casualobserver in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | July 24, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Is it surprising? Maybe McConnell is thinking he only needs to hold the ad funding until the vote. So ads could start running in Oct if needed??

    Aarradin in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | July 24, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    If you had to deal with the likes of Collins, Murkowski, McCain, Flake, Rubio and Sen. Scott, wouldn’t you?

    He can only spare one defection (or, in McCain’s case – defection or death) and still have 50 Senators + VP to pass the vote.

    Sad that needing Manchin for the SCOTUS vote may well result in his re-election.

Mary, I think the DNC would like nothing better than for Republicans to read some poll that Manchin has a safe seat so they don’t try and run ads to defeat him.

The BEST strategy the Democrats could use it convince Republicans to steer clear of West Virginia. A campaign exposing Manchin’s party line votes would QUICKLY change the state against him.
Maybe you should have some doubt about the polls (Democrat controlled) and of course the Senate Republicans who live and die by polls will act accordingly.

Let’s see.. How did McConnel act when the polls showed Trump losing the election? Was he right? Citing McConnell pulling ads from a candidate ISN”T what I would call the bellwether of how a race is going to go and they weren’t any better in 2010 and 2014 when the GOP picked up a bunch of seats.