INTERNATIONAL.- Despite losing the Republican primary in a distant third-place, convicted excoal baron Don Blankenship announced Monday that he will continue his bid for U.S. Senate as a third-party candidate, though it’s unclear if the move violates West Virginia’s “sore loser” law.
Blankenship will run as a member of the Constitution Party, which nominated him by a unanimous vote, his campaign said in a news release.
West Virginia secretary of state spokesman Steve Adams said Blankenship has officially switched his party affiliation to the Constitution Party.
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But Adams has said West Virginia’s “sore loser” or “sour grapes” law prohibits candidates affiliated with a major party who lose in a primary from changing their registration to a minor party to take advantage of later filing deadlines.
In comments made before Monday’s announcement, Mike Queen, who is communications director for Secretary of State Mac Warner, said Blankenship wouldn’t be allowed to run in a general election.
“The Secretary’s position is that Mr. Blankenship is not permitted to run again in the general election for the United States Senate,” Queen told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in a story published Saturday. “If Mr. Blankenship pursues the matter, he will most likely have to bring a legal action to force the Secretary to approve his candidacy.”