By KEN WARD JR.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal records made public Tuesday show that former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is officially a candidate and has formed the Don Blankenship for U.S. Senate campaign committee.
Blankenship listed as his address a post office box in Williamson, according to the filings released Tuesday by the Federal Elections Commission.
Blankenship joins Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the Republican primary for the seat being held by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Earlier this year, Blankenship was released from federal custody after spending a year in prison following his conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety and health standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch, where an April 2010 explosion killed 29 miners.
Blankenship’s one year of supervised release ends May 9, which is one day after West Virginia’s primary election. At Blankenship’s request, his supervised release recently was transferred to federal court in Nevada.
A probation officer there told the court that Blankenship has purchased a home in Las Vegas and plans to make that “his primary domicile.”
Prosecutors described Blankenship as “immensely wealthy,” and Blankenship said he’s already spent “several million dollars” on an ad campaign saying he was wrongly convicted.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at [email protected], 304-348-1702, or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.