Ex-con and former coal baron Don Blankenship has been blocked from running as a Constitution Party candidate for Senate by the West Virginia Supreme Court, ending his year-long push for Congress.
Blankenship lost the GOP nomination to face Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) earlier this year after warring with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which featured some racially charged attacks from Blankenship against McConnell’s family.
But he refused to bow out, pushing to run as a third-party candidate in an effort that could have further damaged West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) in his uphill fight to unseat Manchin.
That always looked impossible, as the state has a “sore loser” law that prevents anyone who lost a party primary from running for that seat as an independent in the general election.
But it wasn’t official until Wednesday when the state Supreme Court ruled he couldn’t appear on the ballot, ending Blankenship’s last legal venue to circumvent the law.
The news is a minor victory for Senate Republicans, who admit that Manchin is comfortably ahead in the race despite the state’s heavily conservative tilt but still hope Morrisey can make things interesting this fall.