- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Republican group has bought $500,000 in TV attack ads against West Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Jim Justice.

The Republican Governors Association announced the ad Tuesday, putting its investment in the race at more than $1 million.

It’s the first round of attacks against the billionaire businessman on TV by Republicans.

The group bought $555,200 in ads supporting Republican Bill Cole before the May 10 primary. Cole, the state Senate president, was unopposed in his gubernatorial primary.

The new ad mentions issues with layoff notices and workers’ compensation payments at some of Justice’s coal mines.

The Justice campaign responded that special interests are trying to prop up Cole’s losing campaign.

Justice’s campaign called him one of the good coal operators, pointing at his United Mine Workers of America endorsement.

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