September 21, 2020 | News | No Comments
Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wins GOP gubernatorial primary MORE (D-W.Va.) highlighted a 1968 mine explosion in his first reelection ad on Wednesday — an apparent jab at a potential Republican opponent who oversaw a company responsible for another fatal mine disaster.
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Manchin’s video is seen as a reference to Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy and a contender for the Republican nomination.
ADVERTISEMENTBlankenship was convicted in 2015 of conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine, where a mine disaster in 2010 left 29 people dead. Blankenship was released from his 1-year prison sentence in 2017.
In his campaign ad, Manchin stands in front of what appears to be a memorial for those that died in an earlier mine explosion in 1968 and points out the names of people he knew who died.
“I lost an uncle, I lost a neighbor, I lost guys I played ball with,” Manchin says. “This is real for me.”
“People here have been screwed by both political parties,” Manchin goes on to say. “Yes, Washington sucks, but West Virginians don’t give up, and I will never give up trying to make it better.”
Manchin’s seat became a top GOP target after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE won the state by more than 40 points in 2016.
The West Virginia primaries will be held on May 8. Manchin is currently facing Paula Jean Swearengin, a more progressive challenger, in the Democratic primary, although he’s expected to carry the nomination.
Blankenship — a GOP donor who has been active in local and state politics — is running in a close race against Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
The Republican establishment in Washington, wary that Blankenship’s conviction for the mine disaster will make him a poor general election candidate, have launched attacks to stop from winning the GOP nomination.