Sometimes politics gives sports a run for their money when it comes to entertainment for the avid spectators and West Virginia’s Don Blankenship is one of those novelty personalities that brings out that dynamic and it appears the coal baron isn’t going away any time soon.
Blankenship announced Monday he will challenge the state’s “sore loser” law and accepted the Constitution Party’s nomination to run in November’s general election for U.S. Senate.
West Virginia law states that no candidate who lost in a primary can run in a general election, but Blankenship will likely contend the law is poorly written.
In his statement, Blankenship says, “Although the establishment will likely begin their efforts against us by mounting a legal challenge to my candidacy, we are confident that — if challenged — our legal position will prevail, absent a politically motivated decision by the courts.”
Blankenship notoriously ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia in May, in which he came in last. But before voters thumped him, Blankenship set off a national spectacle, calling Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, “cocaine Mitch” and referring to McConnell’s wife, Secretary of Transportation Elain Chao’s, family his “China family.”
Of course, this calls into question the possibility of Blankenship splitting the votes of Republican voters and the reddest state in the country once again electing Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin.
However, Manchin, as a red state Democrat, has often voted with Republicans on certain issues but is still a Democrat and unreliable.
One can expect Sen. McConnell and the Republican nominee, Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, to do all they can to shore up the Republican vote as well as cross-over Democrats, particularly through Blankenship’s ignoring the sore loser law. Blankenship’s history and knack for turning out laughable ads garnering attention may make it more difficult than it should be.
Blankenship’s numbers during the primary indicate he has little to no chance of winning, but could it be enough to scuttle the Republican nominee and his arch nemisis, Cocaine Mitch?