Blankenship files paperwork to run in Senate race

July 24, 2018

FILE - In this May 8, 2018, file photo, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship speaks to supporters in Charleston, W.Va. Blankenship says he intends to file paperwork to run in the West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race as the Constitution Party's nominee. Blankenship's campaign announced he would file the paperwork Tuesday, July 24, but he doesn’t expect it to be certified and will “vigorously challenge” any denial. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Former coal executive Don Blankenship has filed to run in West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race as the Constitution Party’s nominee.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Blankenship filed documents at the secretary of state’s office Tuesday with an estimated 11,000 registered voter signatures.

It’s unclear whether the bid violates West Virginia’s “sore loser” law, which bars major party primary candidates who lose from switching to a minor party.

Blankenship’s campaign vows to “vigorously challenge” any denial of efforts to be on the ballot.

Blankenship, who finished third in the Republican primary, wants to join Republican Patrick Morrisey and incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on the November ballot.

Blankenship is a former CEO of Massey Energy, which owned a mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. He spent a year in federal prison for violating safety regulations.

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