Ex-Convict, Coal Baron Don Blankenship Soars Ahead in WV Senate Primary

Kucinich and Cordray are top candidates in the Ohio Democratic primary for governor

Kucinich and Cordray are top candidates in the Ohio Democratic primary for governor

President Donald Trump weighed in on the West Virginia Senate race through a tweet Monday morning. Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State No way!

Of course. Screw what's right, it's only about hanging on to power. He said he's the best positioned candidate among the three to defeat Manchin, and said that he's "Trumpier than Trump". President TrumpDonald John TrumpBaldwin spotlights mother's drug addiction, efforts to combat opioid abuse in ad Giuliani says he's "focused on the law more than the facts right now" Cambridge Analytica ordered to hand over data on USA voter MORE won West Virginia by more than 40 points in 2016.

In one campaign commercial, Blankenship referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as "Cocaine Mitch" and said the GOP leader, who is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, has created "millions of jobs for China people" and has gotten rich from his "China family".

Blankenship pushed back at the Trumps for aligning with the "establishment", though he did claim his end goal is to promote the president's agenda.

An internal poll from one of Blankenship's rivals taken on Saturday and Sunday found Blankenship slightly ahead with 31 percent of the vote, according to The Weekly Standard. Rep. Blankenship is a former CEO of Massey Energy who until recently was serving a yearlong sentence for a misdemeanor conviction over his involvement in the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

Firebrand conservative Moore won the state GOP primary over Trump-backed Luther Strange, then lost to Democrat Doug Jones, amid numerous damaging allegations about Moore's past inappropriate behavior with women. But when you can do a lot of ads over a long period of time, you may be able to convince people that your motivations are a little bit difference.

Blankenship was responding to a Trump tweet Monday imploring West Virginians not to vote for the former Massey Energy CEO.


In a recent TV ad, he also attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Chao's husband, accusing him of creating "millions of jobs for China people".

Republicans have seen a number of extreme (and extremely bad) candidates find their way through GOP primaries, thanks to electorates who were eager to stick it to the establishment.

Rep. Evan Jenkins, left, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey greet President Trump at a roundtable discussion in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on April 5.

Republicans want to retain control of Congress in the November congressional elections that are viewed by some as referendum on Trump's presidency.

"We're excited that President Trump gave us a shout out this morning", Jenkins told FOX. Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic and someone mentioned as a possible 3rd party candidate for president in 2020, hit Trump for that mentality in a tweet Monday.

"I hate to lose". Trump Jr. tweeted. "No more fumbles like Alabama". "We need to win in November".

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