Don Blankenship Didn’t Vote for Donald Trump | NTK Network Don Blankenship Didn’t Vote for Donald Trump

Don Blankenship Didn’t Vote for Donald Trump

In a race increasingly about who can be the most pro-Trump Republican Senate candidate, this candidate has a glaring omission on his résumé.

By NTK Staff | 04.23.2018 @4:30pm

Don Blankenship, a former coal baron eager to become West Virginia’s next U.S. senator, has a problem on his hands.

He’s doing his absolute best to parrot President Donald Trump. He wants West Virginia voters to know he’ll vote for the border wall, and regularly calls Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. “swamp creatures.”

But all the Trump flattery and mimicry only goes so far. The problem? When it mattered most, Blankenship wasn’t there for Trump. Don Blankenship didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016. He even admitted so Monday morning on Wheeling’s 106.3 The River in the video above.

Of course, Trump won each and every West Virginia county and won the state by a margin of a staggering 300,000 votes. So, did it matter that Blankenship didn’t vote?

In fact, it did. Blankenship owns a massive $2.7 million home in a gated community in Henderson, Nevada. The 8,013-square-foot house that he bought in 2016 firmly plants Blankenship in Nevada, a battleground state that Hillary Clinton won by the slimmest of margins that year.

A spokesman for Blankenship explained to the Washington Examiner last week that the former coal baron “did not vote” in 2016 because “Don was in prison.” Here’s why:

He became infamous for his involvement in a explosion that took the lives of 29 miners buried underground in the Upper Big Branch, the deadliest mining accident in more than four decades. For conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, Blankenship was convicted of a misdemeanor — though prosecutors and the families pushed for a felony conviction — and was sentenced to a year in prison.

Interestingly, however, this would not have barred Blankenship from voting in Nevada. The Examiner spoke to several experts who said misdemeanor convictions like the one Blankenship faced “have no impact on a person’s right to register to vote and/or vote in an election in Nevada.”

Furthermore, during the presidential primary process, Blankenship was merely awaiting sentencing. He even could have voted while locked up, according to an official at the Nevada secretary of state’s office. “You can vote absentee from prison if you have a misdemeanor conviction,” that official said.

To be clear, it’s “undisputed” that Blankenship lived in Nevada, according to a filing made by Blankenship’s lawyers in 2014.

“It is undisputed that Mr. Blankenship, who retired from Massey Energy Company in December of 2010, has primarily lived with his fiancé in the same home in Nevada for over two years. Nevada is Mr. Blankenship’s legal residence. He has a Nevada driver’s license. He votes and pays taxes in that state. His fiancé, in turn, has lived in Nevada for more than 15 years.”

Blankenship’s issues are bigger than just not voting for Trump. He’ll also need to explain to West Virginia voters why he, a seemingly full-time Nevada resident who purchased a sprawling new home in that state two years ago, should be representing West Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

Blankenship may have been able to get away with one of these glaring mistakes, but carpetbagging, and being a fair-weather Trump supporter, might end up being too much to ask West Virginia voters.

West Virginia’s primary election is being held on May 8.

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