CHARLESTON — Don Blankenship is set to file the paperwork to run in the general election under the Constitution Party.
Blankenship previously ran under the Republican Party but lost in the primary election to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who received 34.94 percent of the votes.
Blankenship won in four counties in the primary—Mingo, Roane, Calhoun and Clay and received 27,153 votes.
By running as a member of the Constitution Party, Blankenship is challenging the state's "sore loser" election law.
Blankenship said he does not expect the filing to be certified, but that he will "vigorously challenge" the denial through all legal channels.
"The political establishment cannot retroactively enact laws that prohibit individuals who become members of some political parties from being on the ballot while allowing individuals who become members of other political parties to be on the ballot," Blankenship's news release stated. "This is what the Communist or Nazi party would do and is a perfect example of political party behavior that violates an American's guaranteed right to equal opportunity. It is a clearly discriminatory law and exactly what George Washington warned of in his farewell address."
Morrisey's campaign provided a statement regarding the filing.
"Voters won't be distracted by efforts to divert attention away from lying liberal Joe Manchin’s record of supporting pro-abortion policies, gun control, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign against coal miners," Morrisey said in the statement provided to The West Virginia Record.
Blankenship spent a year in federal prison after he was alleged to have willfully conspired to violate federal mine safety standards that caused the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in April 2010.
Blankenship was the CEO of Massey Energy when the 29 miners were killed in the mine explosion. He reported to federal prison in May 2016 and was released a year later. He was required to spend a year in supervised release, which was over this past May.