Don Blankenship

Mike Stuart
U.S. Attorney's Office

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart has been recused from representing the federal government in a case involving former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's criminal mine safety conviction.

Supporters talk with former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, center, prior to a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press file photo

Despite losing the Republican primary in a distant third-place, convicted ex-coal baron Don Blankenship announced Monday that he will continue his bid for U.S. Senate as a third-party candidate, though it's unclear if the move violates West Virginia's "sore loser" law.

Updated at 11:15 p.m. ET

Republicans may have avoided a possible electoral disaster in West Virginia with controversial coal baron Don Blankenship finishing third in the Senate primary to take on Democrat Joe Manchin, but voters gave the GOP establishment some warning signs in other places on Tuesday.

Steve Helber / AP File Photo

Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018 at 9:42 a.m.

Just a day before West Virginia's primary election, President Donald Trump has weighed in on the GOP Primary. With Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship gaining widespread attention in the lead-up to Tuesday, Trump tweeted early Monday morning -- urging West Virginians to vote against the coal baron. Monday marks the first occasion the president has publicly spoken for or against any candidate in the race.

Courtesy Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senate

 

Updated: May 6, 2018 at 8:20 p.m.

One GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia says one of his opponents should be ineligible for Tuesday’s primary.

With former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship seeming to gain momentum as Election Day nears, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey held a news conference Sunday to announce that he’s informing the former coal baron’s probation officer about illegal activity -- in April the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Blankenship failed to file a financial disclosure with the Senate.

Supporters talk with former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, center, prior to a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press file photo

Polls show former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship hovering in third place in the six-way Republican U.S Senate primary primary race. In his native Mingo County, Blankenship’s donations to the community, and a belief that he will help bring back jobs, have led some to support him.

Ex-Coal Baron Takes Swipe at 'China People' in Political Ad

May 4, 2018
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

An ex-coal executive who's running for U.S. Senate after serving a prison sentence has unleashed a political ad that takes swipes at "China people" and calls the Senate majority leader "Cocaine Mitch."

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, a Republican, is seeking the West Virginia seat now held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, but his ad disparages Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell. It's the second ad he's used to label the leader "Cocaine Mitch."

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear the latest from the Democratic Primary Race for U.S. Senate, and we’ll hear a report on Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship – who’s holding third place in the Republican six-way race.

Scott McCloskey / The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

Just days before West Virginia’s primary, the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate has become increasingly aggressive and bold with attacks between candidates. Fueled by the national spotlight, a recent string of debates and high-dollar out-of-state spending, GOP Senate hopefuls have focused their bids on aligning themselves with President Donald Trump -- who maintains a strong approval rating in the state at 61 points, according to March polling from Morning Consult.  

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press File Photo

Three Republican Senate candidates took turns going after one another in a nationally televised debate, with Rep. Evan Jenkins accusing state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of bringing "New Jersey values" to West Virginia, and Morrisey deriding Jenkins' past as a Democrat.

Ex-Con Candidate Compounding GOP Woes in West Virginia

May 1, 2018
Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, speaks during a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

Republican Don Blankenship doesn't care if his party and his president don't think he can beat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin this fall.

This former coal mining executive, an ex-convict released from prison less than a year ago, is willing to risk his personal fortune and the GOP's golden opportunity in West Virginia for the chance to prove them all wrong.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has built a significant fundraising chest in his bid for a second full six-year term, far outpacing West Virginia Republicans hoping to defeat him this fall.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

The upcoming senate race in West Virginia has drawn a big crowd of Republican contenders who are vying to face off on May 8 in the primary races. They're competing for the Senate seat currently held by Joe Manchin, the long standing Democratic incumbent. A group of college students in a political science course at West Virginia Wesleyan College recently made their predictions for which Republicans they think will come out ahead in the primary senate race.


Blankenship Trial
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Attorneys for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship are seeking to erase his misdemeanor conviction related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades. A former lead prosecutor called it a desperate act.

A motion filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston claims federal prosecutors withheld information that would have assisted in Blankenship's defense at his lengthy 2015 trial. It said the government produced reports and other information after the trial's completion.

AP Photo

Convicted former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship claims documents that would have assisted his defense weren't made available to his attorneys before his trial and he's asking a federal court to vacate his misdemeanor conviction.

Blankenship made the claim in a news release through his U.S. Senate campaign to announce a planned motion to vacate the conviction. No motion was listed on a federal court website Tuesday night.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

There's a new fact-checking operation in West Virginia, and it buries one fact — that it's run by U.S. Senate candidate Don Blankenship's campaign.

Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, speaks during a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

A report says the former coal executive convicted of violating federal mine safety standards has failed to turn in a required financial disclosure for his U.S. Senate race.

Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, speaks during a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

A former coal company CEO who went to prison on charges stemming from the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in decades kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign by trying to persuade a largely working class audience that he identifies with them.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A former coal company CEO who served a one-year prison term on charges related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades is kicking off his U.S. Senate campaign with a town hall meeting for voters.

Ex-Massey Energy boss Don Blankenship is scheduled to attend the meeting Thursday night at the Chief Logan Lodge, Hotel and Conference Center in Logan. Blankenship has said he wants to tell voters why he's the best candidate. A news conference is planned afterward.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is hosting a town hall meeting for voters next week as he revs up his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

This post was last updated on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 3:35 p.m.

 

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has officially filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.

Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. Please be sure to revisit this post for the latest. This post was last updated Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 7:22 p.m.

 

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican. Blankenship served one year in federal prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards in the wake of an explosion that killed 29 miners in April 2010.

AP Photo

The Supreme Court is leaving in place the conviction of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for misdemeanor conspiracy to violate federal safety standards at a West Virginia mine where 29 miners died in 2010.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction for misdemeanor conspiracy to violate federal safety standards at a West Virginia mine where 29 miners died in 2010.

Blankenship, who recently finished a one-year prison term, asked the top court Thursday review his conviction, which a federal appeals court upheld in January.

Blankenship Trial
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship has asked President Donald Trump to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards.

Blankenship, who recently was freed from federal prison, also asked the president in a letter Tuesday to re-examine a federal investigation into the nation's worst coal mining disaster in four decades.

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is marking his release from federal custody with an appeal for vindication by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blankenship served a one-year federal prison sentence after being convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws. The charges stemmed from the disaster at a Massey Energy mine in West Virginia in 2010 that left 29 coal miners dead.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is finishing up a one-year federal prison sentence arising from the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Blankenship was set to be released Wednesday from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. He must serve one year of supervised release.

UBB Mine Disaster
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On April 5, 2010, the day after Easter, a series of explosions rocked the Upper Big Branch mine near Montcoal in Raleigh County.

Twenty-nine men died, making it West Virginia’s worst mining disaster since 78 miners were killed at Farmington in 1968.

After the Upper Big Branch explosion, an independent investigation determined that sparks from a longwall miner had ignited a pocket of methane, setting off a chain of explosions that surged more than two miles through the mine.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has been moved to a halfway house as he nears the completion of his federal prison sentence.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Blankenship has been placed in a halfway house in Phoenix, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website.

A federal appeals court has refused to rehear the case of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship in the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the order Friday.

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