Failed West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship announced Monday that he accepted the nomination of the Constitution Party for the midterm elections in November, Politico reported.
If he appears on the ballot, he could play spoiler and keep the GOP from flipping the West Virginia seat from blue to red.
The former Massey Energy CEO, who lost in the primary to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey ,has waged war against the Republican Party.
“The political establishment is determined to keep me — the most anti-establishment candidate in the nation — out of the United States Senate," Blankenship said in a news release. "Since the Fox News Debate when I regained the lead in the polls (following false ads against me by a Mitch McConnell controlled SuperPAC) the press and the establishment have colluded and lied to convince the public that I am a moron, a bigot, and a felon. They even went so far as to lie about my chances against Senator Joe Manchin in the general election.”
Blankenship spent a year in prison on charges related to a coal mine explosion that killed 29 people in 2010.
Is that legal?
West Virginia has a sour grapes law that would prevent Blankenship from becoming a nominee.
"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," according to the West Virginia election laws.
If Blankenship somehow ends up on the November ballot, he will face Morrisey and incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the midterms.
What else did Blankenship say?
“I hold in the highest regard the founding principles of the United States Constitution and I am willing to fight to protect both West Virginia and America from all enemies — foreign and domestic,” Blankenship said. “It is especially appropriate for me to be nominated by the Constitution Party given its staunch and uncompromising commitment to upholding the United States Constitution. My First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment rights were violated when I was falsely charged and politically imprisoned following the unfortunate mining accident at Upper Big Branch — a tragedy wholly caused by the actions of the establishment and the federal government. It is no surprise then that the establishment has worked so hard to cover-up the truth. In fact, were it not for the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a jury trial the Obama Department of Justice would have tyrannically and maliciously imprisoned me for life.”