Nearly nine months after being released from federal prison, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has entered the West Virginia U.S. Senate race. On January 23, Blankenship, filed his paperwork as a Republican candidate. The seat is currently held by Sen. Joe Manchin.

Blankenship was found guilty of misdemeanor conspiracy to violate mine safety standards related to the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion on April 5, 2010, that killed 29 miners. He was not charged with causing the explosion, but the charges were related to events leading up the explosion and statements made following the tragedy. He was sentenced to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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