Don Blankenship, a former coal baron and controversial Senate candidate, blamed President Trump for his failure to win the West Virginia primary elections on Tuesday night.
Blankenship conceded after he won 20 percent of the votes and came in third among the Republican candidates in West Virginia with 66 percent reporting.
He told CNN that Trump’s tweet — which warned constituents in West Virginia on Monday to steer clear of the candidate — may have cost him anywhere from 10-15 points.
But Blankenship maintained his optimism, and told supporters in Charleston that his probation would end at midnight Tuesday.
Blankenship, who spent a year in prison after an explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 men in 2010, said, “I am off of probation tonight at midnight. I haven’t been able to go places I’d like to go for three years now.”
“I get my guns back in a day or two, so I am going to win either way tonight,” he added.
Blankenship landed in hot water during the campaign for questioning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s commitment to the U.S. by zeroing in on his marriage to the Taiwanese-born Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
He accused McConnell of creating "millions of jobs for China people" and said, “"While doing so, Mitch has gotten rich. In fact, his China family has given him tens of millions of dollars."
He later went on to defend his choice of words by saying, "We're confused on our staff as to how it can be racist when there's no mention of a race. There's no race."
"Races are negro, white caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There's no mention of a race. I've never used a race word," he continued.
McConnell, along with President Trump, feared Blankenship would harm the GOP's chance at defeating the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, in the upcoming midterm elections and warned constituents against voting for him.
On Tuesday night, McConnell’s official Twitter account tweeted, “Thanks for playing, @DonBlankenship.”
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the projected GOP winner on Tuesday night will face off against Manchin in November.