WCHS-TV (Charleston-Huntington) is reporting that former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has entered West Virginia's 2018 senatorial race:
Eyewitness News has learned that former Massey Energy chief executive officer Don Blankenship plans to run for U.S. Senate.
Blankenship filed his federal election official papers Tuesday. He will be running as a Republican.
The report goes on to explain:
Blankenship served a one-year sentence at a California prison for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards.
Blankenship's misdemeanor conviction came after 24 days of testimony in connection with his involvement in the Upper Big Branch explosion that killed 29 men in 2010.
In briefs filed earlier this year, Blankenship's attorneys said the jury pool in Charleston was biased against him, the prosecution was politically motivated and the trial controlled by rulings unfair to the defense.
A defiant Don Blankenship declared himself an "American political prisoner" on his blog, blaming others for the 2010 mine explosion. The ex-Massey Energy CEO distributed 250,000 copies of the 67-page diatribe in booklet form.
Among those Blankenship has singled-out for blame is the incumbent Democrat, Joe Manchin. Blankenship will face West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Congressman Evan Jenkins in the Republican primary.