A guide to the May 8 primary election in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Candidates in West Virginia’s May 8 primary are hoping for the chance to earn their party’s nominations for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House or the Legislature. Early voting in West Virginia runs from April 25 through May 5.
Here is a summary of those races:
Democrat Joe Manchin, a former governor, is seeking a second full six-year term in the Senate. He first took office after a 2010 special election prompted by the death of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.
Manchin, running in a state won by Republican President Donald Trump by double digits in 2016, faces a primary challenge Coal City’s Paula Jean Swearengin, a Bernie Sanders Democrat from a coal-mining family.
The Republican primary has six candidates, including 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.
Jenkins and Morrisey have attacked each other’s records, claimed adherence to policies advocated by President Donald Trump’s administration and criticized Manchin.
Jenkins is a second-term congressman, a former state lawmaker and former executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association. Morrisey was elected in 2016 to a second four-year term.
Blankenship was released from federal prison in May 2017 after serving a year on charges stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men in southern West Virginia. It was the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.
Blankenship says he was innocent. His campaign ads tout his safety history and attack Manchin and Jenkins as career politicians.
Other GOP candidates are Bo Copley of Lenore, a miner who confronted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 over her remarks about cutting coal mining jobs; U.S. Navy veteran Jack Newbrough of Weirton and West Virginia National Guard Maj. Tom Willis.