Don Blankenship devising ways to kneecap Patrick Morrisey's Senate bid

Saul Bowman
May 11, 2018

He will face a well-financed Democrat, Marine veteran Dan McCready, who has raised nearly $2 million.

According to the AG's website, Morrisey graduated with honors from Rutgers College in 1989 earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and political science. The winning candidates are off to the races in November. Morrisey was eventually declared the victor; he'll face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in a contest that could decide control of the Senate.

The day's slate of early season elections tested the limits of the anti-establishment fervor that has defined the Trump era. Joe Donnelly in November.

Republican voters rejected ex-convict Don Blankenship in the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia on Tuesday, instead selecting Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to move on to the November general election to face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.

Morrisey beat out Rep. Evan Jenkins, who it appears will come in second, and controversial candidate Don Blankenship for the GOP nomination.

Trump took to Twitter on Monday after McConnell encouraged him to speak out, urging voters not to pick Blankenship and reminding them of the Alabama debacle. "You've been to the state now four times". And I am proud to stand before you and celebrate the hardworking people who are the absolute backbone of America. He reiterated his support for Morrisey - as well as support for U.S. Reps. (The evidence of a Blankenship surge was based entirely on internal polls which were never released to the media.) After five state primaries - Texas will not finish its two-step process until May 22 - we are starting to get our first good look at the midterm landscape. His bid is making Washington Republicans nervous. Braun, who will face incumbent Democratic Sen. "More folks that have done something in the real world", Braun said in a statement after his victory. Home-state Vice President Mike Pence will also attend the rally.

"But we've got more work to do", he added. It spent just $47,000 attacking Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a former lobbyist and transplant from New Jersey, who is now the Republican nominee. He will take on rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) in November. Tiberi's candidate, Troy Balderson of Zanesville pulled out a win.

Harbaugh has raised more money than the incumbent Republican, Representative Robert Gibbs.

Politico reported that Trump called Blankenship - a criminal coal baron whose campaign was marked by freakish attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - the day after Blankenship conceded the race. However, the open gubernatorial seat in OH drew contested primaries in both parties - and Republicans (827,393) drew almost 200,000 more voters than Democrats (641,522). Because of that conviction, most Republican operatives saw Blankenship as unelectable. They are part of a GOP firewall of 10 states Trump won and a Democratic senator is defending. Sherrod Brown in November. In Sen. Joe Manchin III's (D-W.Va.) state, Democrats were most anxious about Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), a former Democrat who had blown the party out in its traditional southwestern strongholds. A far more forceful intervention by Trump in the Republican primary in Alabama previous year, when he travelled to the state and campaigned publicly for then Senator Luther Strange, failed to shift many voters, and Strange lost the primary to Roy Moore, who then lost the special election in December to Democrat Doug Jones.

As the election was being called for Morrisey, a tweet from McConnell's official campaign account appeared to ridicule Blankenship.

No matter Tuesday's victor, Trump's team was keeping pressure on Manchin.

"Thanks for playing, Don", the caption reads.

The Democratic contest was significant because Swearengin was opposing Manchin as a self-proclaimed progressive, calling for Medicare for all and professing support to the strike by 30,000 teachers and other education workers that shut down schools statewide for nine days in March.

"I have no control over [an endorsement] whatsoever", Manchin said.

"There was only one truly conservative West Virginian in the race", Manchin said. But losing Mr. Trump's confidence, as Blankenship did, can be costly. And a group allied with the national GOP, known as Mountain Families PAC, spent more than $1.2 million in attack ads against Blankenship.

The retired coal executive was released from prison previous year for his role in a mine explosion that killed 29 men. Blankenship led the company that owned the mine and was sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to break safety laws, a misdemeanor.

Blankenship continues to blame government regulators for the disaster, even in his concession speech. "Probation ends at 12:01 a.m. tonight".

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