Spokesman Says Blankenship Seeks West Virginia Senate Seat

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A spokesman says former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia held by Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

The 67-year-old Blankenship was released from a federal prison in California in May after serving a one-year prison term related to a deadly mine explosion. He is serving one year of supervised release.

Blankenship was sentenced last year for a misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 explosion.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected Blankenship’s bid to appeal.

Spokesman Greg Thomas says the formal filing would be made Wednesday. The Senate clerk’s office says it hasn’t received it yet.