A Republican running for U.S. Senate in West Virginia suggested that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns MORE (R-Ky.) faces conflicts of interests because his wife’s father is a “wealthy Chinaperson.”

Don Blankenship during a Monday appearance on a West Virginia radio show pointed to McConnell’s marriage to Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoSaluting FOIA on its birthday House passes bill to strengthen authority of federal watchdogs Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' MORE. The clip was first reported on by The New York Times.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson,” Blankenship said in response to a question about an ad produced by a super PAC linked to McConnell that accuses the former coal magnate of poisoning local drinking water from his mines.

Chao’s father owns a shipping company based out of New York.

“There’s a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China,” Blankenship said, adding that he’s read in books that people think McConnell is soft on China.

McConnell and other senators need to be “more transparent” about their business ties, Blankenship said. 

Blankenship, however, is the only candidate from either party in the West Virginia race who has not disclosed his personal finances, which is required by law.

“I don’t personally think anybody should have to disclose private information,” Blankenship reportedly said last week. 

Blankenship’s own fiancee, Farrah Meiling Hobbs, was born in China and moved to the U.S. in 1996, the Times noted. According to a website of the international training company she founded, Hobbs is a “former Chinese professional basketball player and part-time model.”

Blankenship also took a hit at McConnell’s stance on coal, saying he didn’t fight hard enough to promote it.

“I never felt that he fought as hard for coal and energy in West Virginia and Kentucky as he should have,” Blankenship said.

Washington Republicans, including those close to McConnell, have been sounding the alarm on Blankenship's candidacy. They've raised concerns that he'll be too weak to defeat Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Graham says he has COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection MORE (D-W.Va.) thanks to the backlash from a deadly explosion at one of his mines. Blankenship recently spent a year in prison for charges related to that explosion.

A Republican super PAC with ties to Washington Republicans has been hammering Blankenship with attacks for weeks, and two recent polls have shown Blankenship receding into a clear third-place position behind Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP primary.