Convicted ex-coal CEO to start US Senate bid with town hall

LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) - A former coal company CEO who went to prison for charges related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades is kicking off his U.S. Senate campaign with a town hall meeting for voters.

Ex-Massey Energy boss Don Blankenship is scheduled to attend the meeting Thursday night in Logan.

Blankenship will face U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the May 8 GOP primary. Democrat Joe Manchin is seeking re-election.

The 67-year-old Blankenship was released from a federal prison in California last year after serving a one-year term.

Blankenship was sentenced in 2016 for a misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 explosion.

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