West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the state’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday over Rep. Evan Jenkins and the controversial former coal magnate and ex-convict Don Blankenship.
BREAKING: State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wins Republican primary in U.S. Senate race in West Virginia. Convicted ex-coal CEO Don Blankenship loses. @AP race call at 10:19 p.m. EDT. #Election2018 #APracecall pic.twitter.com/8rMlxWKRR9— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 9, 2018
Blankenship ran a highly offensive campaign ad in which he launched racial attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and referred to the Senate Majority Leader as “Cocaine Mitch.”
Blankenship, who was convicted in 2015 of conspiring to violate mine standards, was released from custody just a year ago. After a 2010 mining explosion killed 29 people, Blankenship's company was found to have violated federal safety regulations.
President Trump encouraged voters not to vote for Blankenship who, he said, “can’t win the General Election in your State...No way!”
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State...No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Blankenship conceded the primary to Morrisey late Tuesday evening.
Blankenship concedes: “I did what I could do help the state get out of the 50th position in the economy and out of the 1st position in drug overdoses.” #WVSEN— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) May 9, 2018
The official account of Mitch McConnell for Senate had a message for Blankenship.