Former West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda officially filed to become the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 2020 election on Sunday, November 11. Ojeda, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost his congressional race against former state legislator Carol Miller in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district. This district includes the state’s second largest city, Huntington, home of Marshall University.
Born in 1970 in Rochester, Minnesota and raised in Logan County, West Virginia, Ojeda was one of the most prominent organizers in the 2018 West Virginia public teacher’s strike. This strike called for, and ultimately received, a 5% increase in teachers’ wages statewide.
During his congressional campaign for the 2018 midterms, Ojeda, who supported Bernie Sanders in the state’s primary and Donald Trump in the general election, advocated for expanding and protecting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. He also pushed to improve the Affordable Care Act by creating a voluntary public option and to expand health care tax credits for the working-class, middle-class, and small and medium-size businesses. Ojeda also believes in legalizing cannabis, and defending DACA.
Ojeda is not the first politician to declare his candidacy for Democratic Party nominee in the 2020 presidential election.
Former Maryland congressman John Delaney and New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang also announced they will run. Other potential Democratic Party candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, Hawaiin Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
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