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Gambling Interests, Blankenship Spend Big Bucks in Primary

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Racetrack executives rivaled Massey Energy Co. chief Don Blankenship and other special interests in lavishing campaign cash on legislative candidates running in the primary election, the latest financial filings show. Donors linked to three of the state?s four tracks, and others involved in gambling, together made more than 360 contributions that totaled $106,389, according to the latest reports posted by the Secretary of State?s office. These contributors gave to at least 72 candidates, from both parties and for the House as well as the Senate.

More than 280 candidates ran on May 9. All 100 House seats are on the ballot this year, as are 17 of 34 Senate seats. All told, candidates with posted reports received $3.7 million from all donors during the primary season. Contributors gave them $1.1 million of that total during the latest reporting period, which spanned April 22 to June 2.

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