A West Virginia coal miner announced Tuesday that he plans to challenge Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin next year in the Mountaineer state.
"It's what God's telling me to do," coal worker Bo Copley said about his decision to run.
Copley made news nearly one year ago this week by confronting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over controversial remarks she made about cutting coal mining jobs.
Clinton had made it difficult for Manchin in defending her on the campaign trail, even though he has firmly opposed climate regulations imposed by the Obama administration because of their adverse effect on coal country. President Trump had made restoring coal jobs a major part of his campaign pledge.
"With everything that has happened over the past year, with all of the attention we have received, with all of the people saying, 'We really appreciate you representing us,' we thought maybe people want someone to represent them who understands what they're going through," Copley told Yahoo News in an interview, after filing preliminary paperwork to launch his campaign next year.
Copley would have to shore up a victory in the Republican primary before potentially unseating Manchin. Also being eyed for the Senate spot is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led a large 28-state coalition against federal climate rules that would adversely affect the coal state. Morrisey has not said he would run.