fter a failed bid in the Republican primary, Don Blankenship began an uphill climb Tuesday of getting his name on the ballot for the U.S. Senate.
The former coal baron, who spent a year in jail for a misdemeanor crime associated with the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners, submitted paperwork and signatures of an estimated 11,000 registered voters at the Secretary of State’s Office to run as a member of the Constitution Party.
Blankenship submitted his documents without fanfare, but he has predicted — and the Secretary’s top lawyer has confirmed — that the office is likely to deny his attempt to enter the ballot in light of the state’s “sore loser law.” The Office maintains the statute, also known as a “sour grapes” law, prevents candidates who have lost in a primary election from entering the general election with a different party.
Now, according to the Constitution Party’s vice chairman, Phil Hudok — not be confused with the Marvel Comics character MODOK — stated that Blankenship can get around the “sore loser” law because it only applies to a losing candidate running as an independent or non-ballot qualified party, which the Constitution Party is not.
Given some of the corruption in politics in WV, it wouldn’t surprise me if some money might change hands to insure that Blankenship gets a favorable ruling from Secretary of State’s Office.
And I think it is a safe bet that if Blankenship is given the green light he will draw votes from the Republican candidate not Manchin. And Blankenship sounds like a man with a mission:
When asked how he could win in a general election, Blankenship said external factors led to his loss. He blamed unfair treatment from the media, an unexpected move from President Donald Trump backing his opponents one day before the election, and an unfair justice system for his loss. He declined to accept any blame personally.
“No, I don’t know what more I could have done,” he said. “I was ahead in some polls by 10 points, 18 in others before the president came out the morning before the election, and there’s not much I could do in 24 hours.”
And Manchin is happy to see Blankenship run. The poll results for Manchin go up with Blankenship in the race.
What do you folks in WV think?