Politics

West Virginia Democrat Richard Ojeda to Run for President

Richard Ojeda / Twitter

Richard Ojeda, a West Virginia Democrat and regretful Trump voter, plans to run for president in 2020.

Ojeda, a state senator and retired Army officer, told supporters to stand by for a major announcement Monday. He filed to run for president with the Federal Elections Commission on Sunday, just days after a midterm defeat.

Ojeda lost his congressional bid Tuesday, falling to Congresswoman-elect Carol Miller (R., W.Va.) by nearly 13 points. Each ran a contentious campaign, questioning the other’s patriotism.

Despite the handy defeat, Ojeda’s midterm campaign produced the largest district-level swing towards Democrats in the country. President Donald Trump won the district by 49 points in 2016.

Ojeda voted for Trump but later said he regretted the decision. "Nobody else was saying anything. Hillary Clinton was coming here blowing smoke up everybody’s ass," he told Politico.

He regrets supporting the president, "[b]ecause he hasn’t done shit."

Ojeda will run as a Democrat, according to the FEC filing. "I have been a Democrat ever since I registered to vote, and I’ll stay a Democrat, but that’s because of what the Democratic Party was supposed to be," he said in an interview with The Intercept.

Ojeda explained that the Democratic Party had abandoned its blue-collar roots.

"The reason why the Democratic Party fell from grace is because they become nothing more than elitist, that was it," he said. "Goldman Sachs, that’s who they were. The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party that fights for the working class and that’s exactly what I do. I will stand with unions wholeheartedly and that’s the problem — the Democratic Party wants to say that, but their actions do not mirror that."

Ojeda has supported higher wages for teaches, legal marijuana, and a cap on elected officials’ net wealth.

Prior to serving in the West Virginia state government, Ojeda spent more than two decades in the Army, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received two Bronze Stars.