West Virginia’s secretary of state on Thursday denied Don Blankenship’s bid to appear on the Senate ballot as a third-party candidate, a victory for Republicans hoping to consolidate votes against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in the general election.
Secretary of State Mac Warner said Blankenship’s bid would violate the state’s “sore loser law” preventing a candidate who lost a primary from running again in the general election. Blankenship ran in the May GOP primary but finished a distant third, and submitted signatures earlier this week to run in November as the Constitution Party candidate.
CBS News reports:
“According to the plain language of the law, which controls my decision, a candidate who loses the Primary Election cannot use the nomination certificate process to run another campaign in the General Election. Any other decision would be contrary to the law,” Warner said. Blankenship has indicated he would appeal Warner’s decision if he was ruled ineligible to run.
RELATED: Warner, a Republican, was party to last month’s Supreme Court decision allowing states to purge voter rolls.