Rahall touts coal mine safety in ad

A new ad for Rep. Nick Rahall’s (D-W.Va.) reelection campaign accuses his Republican opponent of favoring lax safety rules for coal mines.

The television ad features miner Ronald Pauley and his wife, Libby, discussing their safety concerns.

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“Every day when my husband goes off to work in the mines I say a little prayer for him that he comes home safe and the guys he works with are safe,” Libby says in the ad.

“We know Nick Joe Rahall is on our side,” Ronald says.

“But Evan Jenkins can't be trusted. He's not on the side of the coal miners. He's on the side of the billionaires,” he says.

Libby responds that Jenkins, a state senator, “is not for the coal miners.”

Both candidates in the midterm election have sought to curry favor with coal miners. But most efforts to do so have centered on support for the mining industry, such as energy policies that support coal, and not for worker safety.

Jenkins and his Republican allies have tried to tie Rahall to President Obama’s unpopular energy policies that they say would harm the coal industry. But Rahall has fought back and distances himself from Obama and other Democrats.

The ad does not cite specific measures Jenkins has endorsed to cut back on mine safety, but it cites the Charleston Gazette to say that his “billionaire backers” want to weaken safety enforcement.