Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy Co. during the 2010 disaster at its Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners, is running for Senate in West Virginia.
Following an extensive government investigation, Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws and served a year in prison in California. He unsuccessfully appealed the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court. Blankenship is currently under federal supervision as a condition of his conviction and is prohibited from leaving the state of Nevada until May 2018.
Blankenship will face West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Representative Evan Jenkins in the Republican primary. If he successfully wins the GOP nomination, he will face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time of the disaster and was a leading figure denouncing Blankenship.