Former coal CEO Blankenship holds town hall in Vienna

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VIENNA, W.Va.-(WTAP) 2/8/2018 8:00 P.M.

Former coal executive Don Blankenship brought his campaign for the U.S. Senate to Wood County Thursday night.

The Republican candidate said little about his two May primary opponents, U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

But he often cited Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is seeking re-election to the Senate, as a reason West Virginia needs a change in Washington.

"Sen. Manchin is going to feel the heat," Blankenship told a crowd of approximately 50 people at the Grande Pointe Conference Center in Vienna. "He is already feeling the heat, stumbling all over himself. And I believe we have to put America first. I believe fundamental change is needed to reduce from 51%, children who still live in poverty."

Blankenship was preceeded at the podium by a relative of one of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Southern West Virginia.

She said federal mine inspectors unfairly blamed the blast on safety violations by Massey Energy. Blankenship was the company's long-time CEO.


U.S. Senate candidate Don Blankenship will speak and visit with voters from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Thursday, during a Town Hall meeting at the Grande Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

A reception will precede the event at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. The event is expected to conclude about 7:30 p.m.

Attendance is free and everyone is welcome. The campaign recommends that those interested in attending register for the event on the campaign website at However, attendees can also register at the door.

Mr. Blankenship will speak briefly and then answer questions from those in attendance.

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