Don Blankenship, the former CEO of coal company Massey Energy who was recently released from jail after a sentence for violating mine safety laws, said on Wednesday he plans to run for U.S. Senate representing West Virginia.
“It’s true,” he told Reuters in an email, without elaborating.
Local broadcaster WCHS-TV first reported the news earlier on Wednesday, saying Blankenship filed his registration papers this week to run as a Republican, making him an official candidate for the seat during 2018 elections.
A Federal Election Commission spokeswoman said she had not yet seen the filing.
Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison in April 2016 for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, following an explosion in 2010 at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people.
He is the most prominent American coal executive to be jailed for mine deaths.
He was released in May 2017. He has maintained that his conviction was unfair and the accident at Upper Big Branch was distorted by the media.
If Blankenship wins the Republican nomination, he would be up against incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time of the Upper Big Branch explosion and vehemently criticized Blankenship over the incident.
Rival Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey said he welcomed Blankenship’s entry into the race.
(Additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Hay and Cynthia Osterman)
Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’
Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance
Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.
Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.
"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.
"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.
"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"
California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report
On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.
"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."
Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.
‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation
Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a
"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."