Trump Urges West Virginians to Vote Against Blankenship, One Day Ahead of Primary Trump Urges West Virginians to Vote Against Blankenship, One Day Ahead of Primary – NTK Network

Trump Urges West Virginians to Vote Against Blankenship, One Day Ahead of Primary

The president is putting his thumb on the scale in the GOP primary for West Virginia's U.S. Senate seat. Here's why he's urging Republicans to support one of two options, but not Don Blankenship.

By NTK Staff | 05.07.2018 @9:30am
Trump Urges West Virginians to Vote Against Blankenship, One Day Ahead of Primary

West Virginia holds a GOP primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, and the president is officially putting his thumb on the scale.

Trump tweeted about the Tuesday race on Monday morning, but not to endorse any one candidate in the three-way primary. Rather, Trump is urging Republicans in West Virginia to not vote for one of the three candidates: Don Blankenship.

NTK Network wrote about Blankenship in April:

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

…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.

Why didn’t Blankenship vote for Trump? Blankenship’s spokesman said it’s because he was in prison in 2016. The Washington Examiner wrote, of Blankenship’s time served:

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.

Of course, Trump’s comparison of Blankenship to “Alabama” is anything but a compliment, as well.

Trump is reminding West Virginia Republicans of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama last year. Instead of electing incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to represent the party in the December election, Alabama Republicans picked Judge Roy Moore. Then, The Washington Post reported Moore pursued teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Democrat Doug Jones won, in an upset no one could have predicted months earlier.

Like Moore, Blankenship has a knack for controversial statements. As of late, the coal baron has been attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “China family,” attacks some are calling racist.

West Virginia Republicans will choose between Blankenship and two Republicans who haven’t been to prison – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R-WV) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) – on Tuesday.

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