West Virginia Senator Richard Ojeda announces run for U.S. president
According to the Federal Election Commission, Ojeda filed on Sunday, Nov. 11. Ojeda also sent an email to his supporters, saying an important announcement will be made at noon Monday. Ojeda broadcast a live Facebook video at noon, announcing his run for the White House.
Video of Ojeda's announcement from Washington D.C. can be viewed below:
The retired Army veteran currently serves as a West Virginia senator for the 7th District, which covers portions of Logan, Boone, Lincoln, Wayne and Mingo counties. He was elected to the Senate in 2016.
During his livestream, Ojeda announced what he called his first pillar, implying there are more announcements to come. He said everyone who runs for federal office must show and prove they mean what they say when they talk about sacrificing.
“You are given a net worth of $1 million. Anything above that, you donate to charity. I don’t mean your children – to actual charity," Ojeda said, announcing his plan. "You’re allowed, once you retire from federal service, a retirement of $130,000 a year with a cap that you are allowed to still make money upwards of $250,000. After that, that gets donated to charity.”
Ojeda was defeated by Republican Carol Miller for the 3rd District race in West Virginia for the U.S. House of Representatives. In his concession speech Nov. 6, Ojeda pledged to keep fighting, saying, "I am Richard Ojeda and I am not done fighting, and neither are we."
“Nineteen months ago, I chose to run for Congress," Ojeda said in his Facebook announcement. "I chose to run for Congress because I wanted to help the people in Southern West Virginia. In the last 19 months while running for office in Southern West Virginia, we received countless phone calls, emails and messages from people all across the United States of America that educated me that the problems that we have in Southern West Virginia are the same problems we have in the southside of Chicago; Flint, Mich.; in the Bronx, N.Y., and the Rio Grande Valley and believe it or not even places like Silicon Valley.”
Ojeda said the president, Republicans and Democrats have not put the focus on the working-class citizens, but instead have focused on political wars.
“We have not had people who have really fought for the working-class citizens in this country,” he said.
Ojeda said he relates to the people "far more than the president does."
“Look at what I did. I ran in the reddest state in the United States of America,” he said. “I turned almost 35 percent of the people that voted for Donald Trump back to voting for a Democrat. Let me tell you something, we can do this . . . I stand with the working-class citizens. I am a Democrat because I believe what the Democratic Party is supposed to be – taking care of our working-class citizens. I will stand with our unions wholeheartedly, taking care of our sick by offering a non-addictive form of pain management, taking care of our elderly, stop allowing people to stick their hand in the cookie jar of Social Security.”
Ojeda also said he will work for veterans and will “take care of them when they come home.”
Raised in Logan County, Ojeda earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College. He went on to a 24-year career in the military, with service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and retired as a major. Along the way, he was recognized with a number of military awards, including two Bronze Stars.
Ojeda lives in Logan with his wife, Kelly Ann Wismer Ojeda, and their two children, Richard III, and Kayla Lavon.
Visit Ojeda's campaign website here.