CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate is a two-man race.
“It’s between myself and (Don) Blankenship. People know I’m the proven conservative and the (Rep.) Evan Jenkins campaign now in third,” Morrisey said during an appearance Monday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
Meanwhile, also on Monday, Jenkins held a Charleston news conference calling on Morrisey to sign the People Over Pills Pledge, rejecting campaign donations from the pharmaceutical industry.
“Unfortunately, to date, with just four weeks left before the primary election neither Joe (Manchin) nor Patrick have signed that pledge.” Jenkins said in a news release. “I challenge them once again today with people from our state legislature, community leaders, faith-based recovery, people from West Virginia to say we need to have our elected officials standing on the side of people, not on the side of Big Pharma.”
During most of his “Talkline” appearance, Morrisey went after Blankenship, the former Massey Energy president and CEO who served a year in prison after a federal misdemeanor conspiracy conviction. It’s believed Blankenship is running strong in internal polling. Morrisey said Blankenship has a lot of resources to finance his campaign but he can’t defeat Manchin.
“Don Blankenship has untenable baggage. He will not win this primary. He would get absolutely crushed by Joe Manchin in November. I think he is clearly Chuck Schumer’s pick,” Morrisey said.
Blankenship disagreed during a Friday appearance on “Talkline.”
“I’ll beat Manchin 15 to 20 points,” he said. “It’s insanity for anybody to believe Joe Manchin can do the things he’s done, he’s abandoned the NRA, he’s abandoned Right to Life, he’s abandoned West Virginia’s voters. He’s proven himself to be willing to do anything from a diploma, to make a fortune on EpiPens, to putting his wife on the payroll so to speak. That matters to people.”
Morrisey said Blankenship has been disloyal to West Virginia when he moved to Las Vegas a few years ago.
“He didn’t stand for Trump. He didn’t fight against Hillary and it’s very important to know that Don Blankenship abandoned the state when times were tough,” Morrisey said. “Don Blankenship moved out of the state–he started voting in Nevada.”
The Primary Election will take place May 8.