Thursday, November 30, 2017

Former coal operator Don Blankenship, just out of prison, is running for U.S. Senate in W. Va.

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is running for a U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia, Kennie Bass and Jeff Morris report for Charleston's WCHS-TV. He was released from prison in May after a year-long sentence for his role in the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in 2010 that killed 29 men.

Blankenship maintains his innocence and has appealed, unsuccessfully, to have his conviction overturned. While in prison, he wrote a 67-page booklet in which he said he was an "American political prisoner" and distributed 250,000 copies. On his blog and in the booklet, he blamed the U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration for the blast.

His longtime adversary, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, is running for re-election. But Blankenship is in a Republican primary with U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

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