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UNITED STATES - MAY 3: Patrick Morrisey, who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in West Virginia, attends a campaign event with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at Richwood Industries in Huntington, W.Va., on May 3, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Morrisey wins GOP West Virginia Senate primary

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has won a contentious Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, beating convicted ex-coal executive Don Blankenship.

Morrisey also outdistanced congressman Evan Jenkins and three others in Tuesday’s race.

Morrisey will face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in November. Both parties view the general election as key to Senate control for the next two years.

The primary became a test of President Donald Trump’s clout. He came out strongly against Blankenship, who served prison time for a deadly mine disaster.

A two-term attorney general, Morrisey promoted his record of challenging policies under the administration of former President Barack Obama.

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.