|Leading Democrat Ken Hechler endorses Jesse Johnson for West Virginia U.S. Senate seat|
Hechler endorses Johnson in W.Va. senate race
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — His opposition to mountaintop removal mining has prompted Democrat Ken Hechler to endorse Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson for U.S. Senate.
Hechler came out Wednesday for Johnson over Gov. Joe Manchin. Hechler lost to Manchin in their party's Aug. 28 primary.
Hechler says he entered the special election race so critics of mountaintop removal could register their opposition. Hechler says Manchin is too cozy with the coal industry.
Unofficial returns gave Hechler 16,039 votes in the primary to Manchin's 67,498.
A third Democrat, Sheirl Fletcher, received 9,035 votes.
Manchin, Johnson and Republican nominee John Raese remain in the running for the bulk of what remains of the late Robert C. Byrd's term.
The general election is Nov. 2.