The dawn of the month of May brings about many things: the first spring blooms, Memorial Day sales, and in a midterm election year, the salty infighting of the parties’ primaries.
Leading up to this week’s West Virginia primary, Trump and his compatriots feared the rise of former coal CEO Don Blankenship as his racially-charged campaign ads echoed the disaster that was Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate candidacy. Moore was the far-right underdog who managed to snag the Republican nomination only to lose to pro-choice Democrat Doug Jones in one of the deepest red states in the country.
This time, Trump got his wish, and Blankenship lost the GOP primary to Indiana Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Not unlike Roy Moore, who technically has still not conceded his loss several months later, Blankenship feels undermined by Trump’s refusal to endorse him – despite having run on what he calls the same platform – and has now promised to do whatever it takes to undermine Morrisey’s candidacy.
According to Greg Thomas, adviser and campaign manager to Blankenship, his client will not support his former rival and “all options are on the table.”
“Don Blankenship will not be supporting Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senate. I think the one thing he is going to make sure doesn’t happen is that Patrick Morrisey does not become a U.S. Senator.”
Thomas blames Morrisey’s New Jersey upbringing, telling West Virginia’s Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval, “he’s not going to sit back and let a corrupt carpetbagger hijack our party.”
For the record, Blankenship came in third overall behind Morrisey, who won the nomination, and West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins.
Republicans shelled out a whopping $1.3 million in an effort to defeat his candidacy, especially after late polls showed him trending well among voters sparked fear that he might win and fail to oust incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Even though Trump stumped strongly against him, Blankenship has one important trait in common with the president – deep pockets. His days as a coal baron could provide enough funding to majorly disrupt Republican plans ahead of the November midterms.
When pressed on what specific actions Blankenship planned to take to squash Morrisey’s chances, Thomas said simply, “Don Blankenship does not believe it should be Patrick Morrisey. He also does not believe it should be Joe Manchin.”
“We’ve only just begun,” he finished.
Grab your popcorn, kids. This fireworks display is certainly going to hit some Republicans square in the face.