Blankenship wants to ‘make sure’ Morrisey doesn’t win Senate bid
Ex-coal CEO Don Blankenship, who lost the GOP primary bid in West Virginia this week, is actively plotting how to undercut state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s Senate candidacy.
Greg Thomas, an adviser and campaign manager for Blankenship, said on Thursday that Blankenship will not support his former rival and “all options are on the table” as Blankenship weighs how best to kneecap Morrisey’s Senate campaign.
“Don Blankenship will not be supporting Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senate,” Thomas told West Virginia’s “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval.” “I think the one thing he is going to make sure doesn’t happen is that Patrick Morrisey does not become a U.S. Senator.”
Pressed on why, Thomas appeared to point to Morrisey’s New Jersey roots, saying “he’s not going to sit back and let a corrupt carpetbagger highjack our party.”
Blankenship came in third place during Tuesday night’s GOP primary behind Morrisey and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.).
National Republicans went all-in to try to squash his candidacy, including an outside group with ties to the national party spending more than $1.3 million against him.
And signs of last-minute momentum for Blankenship sparked alarm bells around Washington, where leadership thought a Blankenship victory would make it harder for the party to defeat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) in November.
Trump, who spoke with Blankenship on Wednesday, urged West Virginia voters to reject Blankenship’s candidacy.
Blankenship has deep pockets and, depending on the path he takes, could cause major headaches for Republicans heading into November.
Thomas didn’t specify how Blankenship would ultimately try to influence the election, either by spending against Morrisey or backing a third-party candidate.
“Don Blankenship does not believe it should be Patrick Morrisey. He also does not believe it should be Joe Manchin,” he said, adding that “we’ve only just begun.”
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