Blankenship endorses ex-W.Va. GOP Senate rival, calls him 'lying' drug lobbyist

Blankenship endorses ex-W.Va. GOP Senate rival, calls him 'lying' drug lobbyist
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Former coal company CEO Don Blankenship on Friday endorsed his former GOP Senate rival Patrick Morrisey while calling him a "lying" out-of-state drug lobbyist.

Blankenship, who lost the Republican primary in May, swiped at the West Virginia attorney general and GOP Senate nominee while endorsing him over incumbent Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin draws line against repealing legislative filibuster Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary The Hill's Morning Report - COVID-19 alarms escalate; Trump under fire over Russia MORE (D-W.Va.).

"I told the audience I would be voting for Patrick Morrisey because West Virginia and America must have Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE and if its Morrisey that Trump wants I will vote for him," Blankenship said in a statement, referring to remarks he gave the previous night to the Tug Valley Mining Institute. 

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"However, when I watch the video it causes me to wonder how our country got to the point that West Virginians have to choose between a lying New Jersey opiate drug lobbyist and a lying supporter of Barrack Obama," Blankenship added.

Blankenship was blocked in August by the West Virginia Supreme Court from appearing on November's ballot after losing the primary election for the GOP nomination and subsequently filing a bid to run as a third-party candidate.

The former coal CEO's attempt to launch a third-party bid worried state Republicans who feared he would siphon votes from Morrisey's campaign against Manchin, who is seen as a top target for Republicans attempting to cement control of the Senate in November.

Blankenship previously went to prison for conspiring to violate mine safety laws following a deadly explosion that killed 29 workers at a mine run by his company. He previously unsuccessfully filed to have the conviction vacated after serving a year in custody.