Mitch McConnell team tweets jab at Blankenship after loss

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who touted himself as a true conservative in the race, was the victor with 36 percent of the vote, ahead of congressman Evan Jenkins, with 27 percent.

Jenkins conceded the race shortly after 10 p.m.

"Cameras are lined up", Nachama Soloveichik added, laughing.

Former coal miner Bo Copley, who received 3 percent of the vote, called Morrisey "probably the rudest person in this race" on Monday's MetroNews "Talkline."

"Don't feel sorry for me", Blankenship said. "These are tough guys".

Morrisey deflected criticism of his past lobbying ties to the pharmaceutical industry and his roots in New Jersey, where he lost a 2000 congressional race.

Blankenship's two more establishment opponents - Morrisey and Rep. Evan Jenkins - largely ignored the coal baron after he announced his candidacy a year ago. He was seen as a weak candidate to face Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin who is seen as in a vulnerable position.

McConnell said the lessons learned in past GOP primaries when controversial candidates advanced to November and then lost to Democrats provided a valuable roadmap for his party.

"The people of our state are so special: we've done the heavy lifting and built the middle class". But we've got more work to do. Upper Big Branch had made Blankenship the face of greed and recklessness for many West Virginians. Manchin's campaign has said he had more than 11,000 donors in the primary.

Closely-watched Republican primaries in four states ended Tuesday night, setting the stage for highly anticipated midterm showdowns with Democrats in November. In addition to his racially insensitive language, Blankenship had spent a year in prison for his involvement in lax safety standards that led to a deadly mine explosion.

Blankenship was still under supervised release when he launched his campaign.

After the race was called in Manchin's favor, Manchin said: "For me, it's always been about working for West Virginia and that will never change". He urged support for Morrisey or Jenkins instead.

"For a long time, Washington D.C. has flown over West Virginia and took on Joe Manchin with his rubber stamp of liberal values", Morrisey said.

Early on Tuesday, I called Nina Turner, the former OH state senator who is now president of Our Revolution, the Bernie Sanders-inspired organization that picked up where his 2016 campaign left off, and which this year has been recruiting progressive candidates around the country.

He said his future includes travel. To find a sitting politician who so forcefully impressed himself upon the imaginations of Americans one would have to look back to Franklin Roosevelt.

"I'm gonna win either way tonight". Last night, Kucinich was the candidate who most resembled Sanders (Turner, along with the progressive actor Danny Glover, campaigned for Kucinich this week) and Blankenship the one most similar to Donald Trump.

Morrisey is the first Republican to serve as attorney general in West Virginia since 1933, his campaign website boasts.

Vice President Mike Pence congratulated Morrisey on Twitter.

Willis, who finished fourth with 9.8 percent of the vote, released a statement on May 2 attacking Morrisey and Jenkins, using similar points as the two. Morrisey ran an ad in which a mountain smashes the U.S. Capitol. "West Virginia people deserve better".

Republicans worry Blankenship would lose a race against Democratic Sen. Morrisey has said he is staunchly anti-abortion, opposing taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood and supporting a repeal of Roe v. Wade.

Fears about nominating a candidate outside the mainstream escalated in recent weeks, particularly in West Virginia.