Ex-convict coal magnate to run for U.S. Senate: report

(Reuters) - Don Blankenship, the former CEO of coal company Massey Energy who was recently released from a jail term for violating mine safety laws, is running for U.S. Senate representing West Virginia, according to local media reports.

WCHS-TV reported Wednesday that Blankenship said he filed his registration papers with the Federal Election Commission this week, making him an official candidate for the seat during 2018 elections.

Efforts to reach Blankenship were not immediately successful. His candidate registration papers could not be found in an online search of Federal Election Commission filings, which are typically published on a delay.

WCHS said Blankenship would run as a Republican for the seat in the heart of U.S. coal country.

Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison in April 2016 for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, following an explosion in 2010 at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people. He is the most prominent American coal executive to be jailed for mine deaths.

He was released in May 2017 and has maintained that his conviction was unfair and the accident at Upper Big Branch was distorted by the media.

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Hay)

11/29/2017 12:18

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