By Associated Press - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A petition drive has started to place convicted former coal executive Don Blankenship on the West Virginia general election ballot in the U.S. Senate race as the Constitution Party’s nominee.

Blankenship’s campaign announced the petition drive Wednesday.

To get him on the ballot, at least 4,537 signatures must be collected and submitted to the secretary of state by Aug. 1.

Blankenship finished a distant third in the Republican primary on May 8. He wants to join Republican nominee Patrick Morrisey and incumbent Democratic Sen. Manchin on the ballot in November.

A former Massey Energy CEO, Blankenship spent a year in federal prison for violating safety regulations in a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 miners.

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