CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) –
UPDATE (7/26/18 11:40 AM):
The West Virginia Secretary of State has denied Don Blankenship filling to run for Senate as the nominee for the Constitution Party.
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner cited the Mountain State’s “Sour Grapes” or “Sore Losers” law in the denial.
“According to the plain language of the law, which controls my decision, a candidate who loses the Primary Election cannot use the nomination-certificate process to run another campaign in the General Election. Any other decision would be contrary to the law,” Warner said in a release.
Blankenship has said that if his filing is denied, he plans on challenging the ruling in court.
He released the following statement:
The establishment rejected my application for ballot access today. This came as no surprise.
In doing so, the ESTABLISHMENT politicians are ignoring the Constitution to benefit themselves. By controlling who can and who cannot be on the election ballot this fall, they are trying to control who can and who cannot get elected to the United States Senate. It’s clear that the ESTABLISHMENT thinks they should have special privileges and rights, but the United States and the West Virginia Constitutions say they cannot do that.
We will be filing a COURT claim next week that the “sore loser” law the ESTABLISHMENT is relying on is unconstitutional. We are confident, that absent yet another political court decision, the denial of my certificate of announcement will be overturned. We are looking forward to running a spirited campaign for U.S. Senate as the only candidate who is not supported by Planned Parenthood and opiate drug distributing companies.
The government said in federal court that I should be treated more harshly because “my free speech troubles the United States” but that’s not true. My free speech troubles politicians, not the United States. It troubles politicians so much that they tried to put me in prison for life based on false charges. Charges they knew were not true. Charges so blatantly false that I did not even put on a defense argument, and yet I was found not guilty of all three felony charges.
Any fair Judge will vote to reverse the “sore loser law.” A law written by the real “sore losers” to protect themselves—the “establishment politicians.”
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
It is now a three-man race for U.S. Senate in West Virginia. Former coal executive Don Blankenship filed papers at the Secretary of State’s office, to run for Senate as the nominee of the Constitution Party. The incumbent is Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey the Republican nominee. Some believe Blankenship’s entry could guarantee a Manchin win, but he’s not buying into that theory.
“I don’t think so because I’m pretty well-known in southern West Virginia which is where Joe will have a big margin if I’m not in the race. But I expect to take enough votes from both of them to win the election,” said Don Blankenship, (C) Nominee for U.S. Senate.
Democrats who back Senator Joe Manchin we’re quick to respond.
“You know I just think it offers folks another choice and I think it shows the chaos that’s with the Republican Party that they are not satisfied with their candidate,” said Belinda Biafore, Chairperson, WV Democratic Party.
Patrick Morrisey’s campaign issued a statement criticizing Joe Manchin, but never mentioned Blankenship. Political analysts say the national and state political mood is hard to predict right now.
“The conventional wisdom is that it will take away from Patrick Morrisey. It makes Joe Manchin’s job easier to get elected. But again we kind of go by the theory that in today’s world, the only conventional wisdom is, there is no conventional wisdom,” said Tom Susman, TSG Consulting.
Blankenship’s vast wealth could be a factor.
Q: How much are you willing to spend? Unlimited?
“Yes. It’s always that way. It’s whatever it takes to win,” said Blankenship.
But the Secretary of State may rule that Blankenship cannot run, because it would violate the state’s so-called “sore Loser” law, since he already lost in the Republican Senate primary. Blankenship says that law is unconstitutional.
“If Don Blankenship’s name is not allowed on the ballot, it will likely spark a legal fight bringing the U.S. Senate race to the U.S. District Courthouse here in Charleston,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.