Coal Baron Don Blankenship May Boost Biden’s Prospects in Nevada
(Bloomberg) -- Coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship may be helping Joe Biden’s electoral prospects in the key battleground state of Nevada.
The former chief executive officer of coal miner Massey Energy Co. has won about 0.2% of votes in Nevada, or about 2,578. That won’t get him anywhere near the White House, but it may have chipped away at President Donald Trump’s support in the state where Democratic nominee Joe Biden is holding a slim lead of fewer than 12,000 votes.
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Blankenship, running as a Constitution Party candidate, has positioned himself as a staunch conservative, in favor of states’ rights to govern themselves instead of the federal government. He’s called for limiting national oversight over natural resources and for the eradication of numerous agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency -- positions likely to have strong appeal to the coal industry.
Blankenship served a year in federal prison for conspiring to evade safety laws in the lead-up to a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.
This isn’t his first political campaign. He sought a seat in the U.S. Senate representing West Virginia in 2018, but after losing out in the Republican primaries the state supreme court rejected his effort to get on the ballot for the Constitution Party.
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