Blankenship releases ad calling McConnell 'Cocaine Mitch'

West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship (R) released a new ad on Monday in which he labels Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators near deal on sexual harassment policy change Blankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' MORE (R-Ky.) as “Cocaine Mitch.”

“One of my goals as U.S. senator will be to ditch Cocaine Mitch. When you're voting for me, you’re voting for the sake of the kids,” Blankenship says at the conclusion of the campaign spot.

The ex-coal CEO has previously lobbed attacks at McConnell.

Blankenship's campaign in a press release on Tuesday pointed to McConnell’s father in law in explaining the claim.

"His father-in-law who founded and owns a large Chinese shipping company has given Mitch and his wife millions of dollars over the years,” the press release reads. “The company was implicated recently in smuggling cocaine from Colombia to Europe, hidden aboard a company ship carrying foreign coal was $7 million dollars of cocaine and that is why we've deemed him 'Cocaine Mitch.’ "

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Politico on Monday noted a 2014 report in the left-leaning Nation magazine that drugs were once found on a shipping vessel owned by McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoBlankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Blankenship to run third-party Senate campaign after losing GOP primary McConnell brother-in-law picked by Trump to lead pension agency MORE.

The Hill has reached out to McConnell's office for comment.

Blankenship previously attacked McConnell and Chao, saying last week that the Senate majority leader faces conflicts of interest because his father-in-law is a “wealthy Chinaperson.”

McConnell, who has said he doesn't want Blankenship to win the West Virginia GOP primary, called the remarks “ridiculous.”

Blankenship, who was released from prison less than a year ago, is battling Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsBlankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Blankenship to run third-party Senate campaign after losing GOP primary Blankenship wants to 'make sure' Morrisey doesn't win Senate bid MORE (W.Va.) and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for the GOP nomination on May 8. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBlankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Overnight Energy: Feds eye rolling back Alaska wildlife rule | Park service releases climate report | Paper mills blamed for water contamination | Blankenship plans third-party Senate run The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Frenzy over Kennedy retirement rumors | Trump challenges DOJ MORE (W.Va.).

A spate of recent polling shows Blankenship fading into third place in the primary race, after an outside group with ties to the national GOP spent heavily to sink his candidacy.

--This report was updated on May 1 at 1:48 p.m.