Populist Republican Won’t Rule Out Third Party Bid

Ex-coal CEO and West Virginia senate candidate Don Blankenship says he will not rule out a third party bid in the West Virginia senate race, if Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wins the Republican nomination Tuesday. “I have not ruled out anything,” Blankenship told CBS News on Sunday, adding, “I’ve said that I cannot let him win because of the opioid connection and planned parenthood connection.”

Blankenship has repeatedly stated on the campaign trail that Morrisey is at fault for the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, and vows he will not support the attorney general if chosen as the Republican nominee. “Mr. Morrisey has been less than truthful about his involvement with the drug companies,” Blankenship said, noting that an independent bid might be the most viable option in the general election race against current West Virginia senator Democrat Joe Manchin.

But Blankenship’s threat may ring hollow. West Virginia law contains a “sore loser” clause barring candidates that lose in a party primary from running as an independent for the same post. It’s not clear how or if he could ever run such a campaign in the Stare of West Virginia.

Morrisey responded to Blankenship’s suggestion that he wouldn’t rule out a third party run, saying in a campaign statement, “Don Blankenship proved that his candidacy is nothing more than a vanity run, and he is more than willing to betray conservatives and Republicans if he loses the primary Tuesday evening.”

Read more at CBS News.

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