CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP/MetroNews) - UPDATE: 11/11/19 12:25 P.M.
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship announced Monday that he is a candidate for the Constitution Party nomination for President of the United States.
Blankenship posted the announcement on Facebook, Twitter and his website. He said he chose to make the announcement on Veteran's Day in recognition of America's veterans.
In 2018, Blankenship finished third in the race for the Republican Party nomination for the U.S. Senate Senate seat held by Joe Manchin.
Blankenship said he will "flush the swamp, balance the budget, fix and update our infrastructure, get term limits passed, reconcile our differences, greatly reduce healthcare costs with pragmatic solutions, conduct a true war on the opiate drug epidemic, enforce our laws, and provide citizenship to millions of immigrants who deserve it."
Blankenship said he's best choice for people who can no longer stand drama and want solutions rather than arguments.
Blankenship's Facebook post says that he will be attempting to be the first person to ever become an occupant of the White House after having been in the "big house."
He is the former CEO of Massey Energy who owned a mine in West Virginia where a mine explosion killed 29 workers in 2010. He spent one year in a federal prison for misdemeanor safety violations related to the explosion.
ORIGINAL STORY 11/1/19
Former coal executive Don Blankenship, a year since running for U.S. Senate, is officially a presidential candidate.
Blankenship filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday. Blankenship, whose committee is based in Williamson, is running for the Constitution Party’s nomination.
Blankenship’s first statement as a presidential candidate criticized both major parties, citing the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote furthering the impeachment inquiry. All but two Democrats supported the resolution on Thursday, while all Republicans voted against the measure.
“Political Party leaders keep their members in line and control their votes by controlling funding for their future campaigns. They do this through Party PACs such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee,” the former Massey Energy CEO said.
“The result is that the only opinion that matters is the opinion of the Democrat and Republican Parties’ Leaders.”
Blankenship ran for U.S. Senate last year, finishing third in the Republican primary before attempting to get on the ballot as a candidate for the Constitution Party.
Blankenship was released from prison in May 2017 after serving a year sentence for violating federal mine safety standards in light of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. Twenty-nine miners died in the 2010 incident.
Blankenship filed to run for office in January 2018.
As a candidate, he repeatedly attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — coining the nickname “Cocaine Mitch” in the process — and used the term “Chinaperson” to describe the father of McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The state blocked Blankenship’s second attempt to be in the general election, citing the “sore loser” law preventing people who lost in primaries from running in the general election.
Blankenship is currently suing Donald Trump Jr., who encouraged voters to oppose Blankenship ahead of the May 2018 GOP primary and also called Blankenship a felon.
Former state Sen. Richard Ojeda launched his presidential campaign last November after losing the 3rd Congressional District contest. Ojeda, a Democrat, suspended his campaign in January.