Data: Bulk of names on Blankenship petition are Democrats

FILE - In this May 8, 2018, file photo, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship speaks to supporters in Charleston, W.Va. Blankenship says he intends to file paperwork to run in the West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race as the Constitution Party's nominee. Blankenship's campaign announced he would file the paperwork Tuesday, July 24, but he doesn’t expect it to be certified and will “vigorously challenge” any denial. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Preliminary data shows that so far Democrats make up the bulk of signatures on a petition to let ex-coal executive Don Blankenship run in West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race as the Constitution Party’s nominee.
The Gazette-Mail reported Wednesday that the Secretary of State’s Office had processed about 4,000 signatures, of which 45 percent were Democrats, 24 percent were Republicans and 27 percent were unaffiliated or from minor parties.
Blankenship’s campaign submitted 11,468 signatures. He needs 6,536 to qualify.
He wants to reverse a decision barring him from running under a law prohibiting unsuccessful major party primary candidates from switching parties.
Blankenship is a former CEO of Massey Energy, which owned a mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. He spent a year in federal prison for violating safety regulations.
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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.