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First Read's Morning Clips: Blankenship's controversial new ad

Image: Don Blankenship Trial
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship makes his way out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse during a break in deliberations, Charleston, W.Va. on Dec. 1, 2015. He is convicted on one of three counts connected to a deadly coal mine explosion and acquitted of two other charges on Dec. 3. Tyler Evert / AP, file

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MIDTERM MADNESS: Blankenship's controversial new ad

AL-GOV: Guess who’s floating a run for governor? Yep, Roy Moore.

CA-29: California Democrat Tony Cardenas is categorically denying an allegation of child sex abuse.

CA-SEN: A “counter-Semitic candidate” is running as a Republican in California — and there’s an outside chance he could actually make the general election ballot.

CA-GOV: California Republicans are gathering at their state convention this weekend. Will either GOP gubernatorial candidate nab an endorsement?

And a group of black leaders has endorsed Villaraigosa.

FL-GOV: A poll actually has Patrick Murphy tied for second if he jumps into the race with a Republican running mate.

FL-SEN: Bill Nelson is headed to Puerto Rico as he and Rick Scott battle for the island’s voters in Florida.

MI-SEN: GOP candidate John James is up with his first ad.

MO-GOV: The Missouri legislature will hold a special session to consider Eric Greitens’ impeachment.

NJ-SEN: Bob Menendez is attacking GOP opponent Bob Hugin, saying he “should search his conscience about what he did to cancer patients under his leadership at Celgene.”

NY-11: POLITICO reports on GOP concerns over Michael Grimm’s comeback bid.

PA-14: Rick Saccone’s primary challenger isn’t pulling punches to remind voters of his special election loss.

WA-8: Anxiety about tariffs, trade and China are playing out in the WA-8 race, which is home to Boeing.

WI-SEN: Kevin Nicholson’s comments on military service have prompted Republican veterans (who support his opponent) to ask for an apology.

WV-SEN: Don Blankenship is under fire after releasing an ad that attacks Mitch McConnell’s “China family.” Asked about the ad by NBC’s Ali Vitali last night, Blankenship responded: “In order to have a racist statement you have to mention a race or a derogatory comment about a race. What Country a person resides in or was born in has nothing to do with’s about’s not about race.”

Donald Trump Jr. is telling West Virginia voters to “reject Blankenship!”

TRUMP AGENDA: “New legal and political perils”

The New York Times sums it up: “Giuliani may have exposed Trump to new legal and political perils.”

Giuliani says Trump only found out about the Stormy Daniels reimbursement days before the election.

Influential outsiders have played a key role in Scott Pruitt’s foreign travel, writes the Washington Post.

Trump is ordering the Pentagon to look at options for a troop drawdown in South Korea.

GOP-backed measures across the country to arm teachers have been stalling, writes the Washington Post.

And the House chaplain has un-resigned. Our Hill team has the details.

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