News & Politics

Racist West Virginia Republican Primary Loser Blankenship Defies Law to Stay in Senate Race

His spoiler candidacy all but guarantees a Democratic win.

Photo Credit: Don Blankenship

Don Blankenship, loser of the West Virginia Republican Senate primary and strong contender for Worst Person in the World, is also a sore loser. He says that, despite West Virginia having a sore loser law, he’s going to wage a third-party run as a spoiler to Republican nominee and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“Although the establishment will likely begin their efforts against us by mounting a legal challenge to my candidacy, we are confident that — if challenged — our legal position will prevail, absent a politically motivated decision by the courts,” he said.

The coal baron also said that the establishment was “determined to keep me — the most anti-establishment candidate in the nation — out of the United States Senate,” and that “the press and the establishment have colluded and lied to convince the public that I am a moron, a bigot, and a felon.”

That legal challenge will be on pretty solid ground, considering that the West Virginia secretary of state’s office has explicitly said that “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.”

In other words, exactly what Blankenship is trying to do here.

Like so many Republicans these days, Blankenship is trying to play the victim, even as he’s a wealthy man who only served a year in prison for the explosion that killed 29 coal miners. But if he wants to throw another pile of his own money at a losing challenge to the sore loser law, inflicting damage on Morrisey along the way … sure, fine, whatever. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin will probably take whatever help he can get.

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Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.