So, a first-time candidate files for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia. The most recent entries on his resume include serving a year-long prison term that ended just seven months ago and currently being under court-supervised release … in Nevada. This kind of candidate would be put on the At-A-Glance list, dismissed as a non-factor, and quickly forgotten. That is, unless that candidate is former Massey Energy chief executive officer Don Blankenship, who is well known to West Virginia voters and has a net worth estimated to be about $45 million.
There is little doubt that Blankenship would like to see Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin defeated next November. What is less clear, though, is whether winning the GOP nomination is his first priority or even his reason for getting into the race. Instead, there are signs that Blankenship may well be running a campaign of redemption in an effort to clear his name after what he believes was a wrongful conviction. He does believe that Manchin had a role in the “conspiracy” that led to his conviction, and thus
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