Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump Jr. calls elderly supporter who was assaulted Trump Jr. hits Howard Stern for going ‘establishment,’ ‘acting like Hillary’ Trump Jr., GOP senator lash out at Facebook for taking down protest pages on stay-at-home orders MORE, the president’s eldest son, called on Republicans to oppose controversial former coal executive Don Blankenship in next week’s West Virginia Senate primary as Republicans worry his win could jeopardize chances of keeping the seat.
Trump Jr. tweeted the message to his followers Thursday afternoon, five days before West Virginians head to the polls.
In his message, he referenced last year’s Alabama Senate special election, where Republicans — including the White House — stuck with Republican nominee Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSessions goes after Tuberville’s coaching record in challenging him to debate The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Sessions fires back at Trump over recusal: ‘I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did” MORE despite allegations of sexual misconduct, including a sexual encounter with a minor.
“I hate to lose. So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and ask the people of West Virginia to make a wise decision and reject Blankenship!” Trump Jr. tweeted.
“No more fumbles like Alabama. We need to win in November.”
Blankenship spent one year in prison for a mine safety violation related to an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 people died. After his release from prison last year, he launched his Senate bid.
Washington Republicans have warned that nominating Blankenship could blow the party’s chances of defeating Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wins GOP gubernatorial primary MORE (D-W.Va.) in the deeply Republican state. They’d prefer either Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE (R-W.Va.) or state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the two other top candidates in the race.
An outside group tied to Washington Republicans has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Blankenship.
Blankenship has criticized Washington establishment politicians. He also recently stirred controversy by using the term “Chinaperson” to refer to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE’s (R-Ky.) father-in-law.
The White House has not officially weighed in on the race, but during President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s recent trip to West Virginia, he sat at an event flanked by both Jenkins and Morrisey, while Blankenship was not present.
Recent polling shows the former coal executive in a clear third place behind both candidates, but in an unpredictable, low-turnout election like a Senate primary, a Blankenship victory is still possible.
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