West Virginia GOP Primary Approaches

The Story:

On May 8, Republican voters in West Virginia will choose their party’s nominee to oppose the re-election campaign of Senator Joe Manchin (D). The candidate to watch in the final days of the GOP primary campaign is Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy.

The Background:

The other leading contenders for the Republican nomination for this seat are Patrick Morrisey (the state’s attorney general) and Congressman Evan Jenkins, who represents the 3d congressional district, the southwestern portion of the state.

The Republican establishment is reportedly worried that a victory for Blankenship in the primary will mean a victory for Manchin in November, and the loss of a chance to pick up a seat in the razor-tight Senate arithmetic.

The Thing to Know:

Blankenship was convicted of conspiring to violate federal mining safety laws as Massey CEO and did one year in prison. Polls indicate that he has a strong base of support notwithstanding.

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