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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 that...it’s about countries...it’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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