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Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has announced he is running for President. Blankenship served a year in federal prison and made a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2018.
In a statement posted online, Blankenship says he is seeking the Constitution Party’s nomination for president in 2020. Federal Election Commission records show he filed paperwork in October.
Blankenship served a year in federal prison for conspiring to violate mine safety standards following an April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 men died.
Following that sentence, Blankenship ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican, but lost in the primary.
He tried to run in the general election as a Constitution Party candidate, but was denied ballot access because of West Virginia’s sore loser law.
That law prohibits failed major party candidates from running for the same seat.
Citing a smear campaign against him during the 2018 election cycle, Blankenship sued the National Republican Senatorial Committee, various news media organizations, and Donald Trump, Jr. for defamation — saying they incorrectly called him a felon. The trial is set for October next year.