West Virginia senate primary race and what we have to look forward to
By: Susan Conte, Xiro Xone News May 8, 2018 Updated: 6:32 AM PT
On the eve of several senate primary races the most talked about race was the republican senate primary in West Virginia. West Virginia, a state won by Trump, is trying to unseat democratic senator Joe Manchin. Though Manchin runs as a democrat, he tends to vote republican more times than democrats may like. Manchin is well known and willing to reach across the isle, something democrats seem to understand because, he is trying to do what his constituents expect of him.
The West Virginia primary is a semi-closed primary, also known as a hybrid primary. It’s the type of primary election in which voters who are not affiliated with a particular party may participate and vote for the primary candidate of their choice. Voters who are already affiliated with a political party, democratic or republican, can vote only in that particular party's primary.
When the polls open Tuesday, voters will have a choice between, former coal- mining executive Don Blankenship who created a three-way battle for the Republican Party's nomination by joining Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R). The victor will run against Joe Manchin.
Blankenship has spent more than $1 million in radio, television, and internet ads to promote his candidacy. Several of the ads tried to convince voters that he was falsely prosecuted and convicted of an explosion at the, Upper Big Branch mine in 2015 that killed 29 miners. Blankenship was charged with a federal misdemeanor that sent him to prison for 12 months.
A PAC with connections to the national Republican Party launched a $700,000 ad campaign calling Blankenship a “convicted criminal.” He accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of meddling in the election. In retaliation, Blankenship campaign ads focused on senator McConnell, and his wife Elaine Chao, transportation secretary of Chinese ethnicity.
One ad by Blankenship said, “One of my goals as US senator, will be to ditch Cocaine Mitch.” Most voters were wondering what senate majority leader McConnell had to do with cocaine. The only thing we could find was, his wife’s family owns the Foremost Group, a cargo shipping and trading company. In 2014 drugs were found aboard the Ping May, a vessel owned by McConnell’s in-laws as it was leaving Colombia South America. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.
America first is not what a person or business has in mind when they choose to fly the Liberian flag. The flag allows ship owners to pay lower tonnage taxes than ships that fly the US flag. Maybe Blankenship used the term “cocaine Mitch” to draw attention to these facts. No one seems to know. Another ad drew condemnation when Blankenship used the term “China family,” to describe McConnell’s in-laws.
Jenkins and Morrisey faced opposition ads from a Democratic super PAC, Duty and Country, who spent $1.2 million against Jenkins and Morrisey in an effort to help incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D.) but none of the ads were as bombastic as, the Blankenship ads.
Republicans believe they can change a seat from Democratic to Republican control in a state that voted heavily for Donald Trump (R) in the 2016 presidential election by 42 points, the largest margin of victory in any state.