Don Blankenship loses West Virginia GOP primary after blasting Mitch McConnell's 'China family'
West Virginia Republican Don Blankenship/Screenshot

West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship will lose the state's Republican primary, CNN reports. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has won the nomination.


Blankenship served a year in prison for his role in ignoring safety standards that led to the deaths of 29 miners during the Upper Branch Mine Disaster of 2010 before entering politics and taking on the Republican establishment — a stance that led him to make "Cocaine Mitch" McConnell a target of his ads.

In an interview and later in a campaign ad, the wealthy West Virginian attempted to claim that the Republican majority leader is working for his "China family" — a reference to the businessman father of McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who Blankenship once referred to as a "Chinaperson."

On the eve of the primary, President Donald Trump implored West Virginians to vote for either of his Blankenship's opponents in a tweet that referenced Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. The Trump tweet appeared to enrage Blankenship, and did not acknowledge that the president threw his weight behind the former judge accused multiple times of indecent liberties with teen girls.