Richard Ojeda, who just lost his bid for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, released a campaign ad Sunday night indicating that he’d be making a presidential run in 2020 against President Donald Trump, whom he voted for in 2016.
Ojeda, a former West Virginia state senator and Army paratrooper, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Sunday and told supporters he’d be making an announcement Monday at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., local West Virginia outlets reported.
“I hope you will join me tomorrow at noon EST for an important announcement,” Ojeda said in an email Sunday night. “Because like I said, we are not done fighting.”
Ojeda is now part of an expectedly large field of Democratic 2020 hopefuls, but Ojeda’s background and populist tendencies will make him a unique candidate.
“Make no mistake about it! You’re going to know my name!” Ojeda said in his Tuesday concession speech, appearing to hint at his political future, Politicoreported.
With the opposition to Trump growing, Ojeda will have to get Democratic voters to forgive him for voting for Trump in 2016. Ojeda endorsed Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders initially, until Hillary Clinton won the primary.
“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,” Ojeda said in an interview with The Intercept.
“The reason why the Democratic Party fell from grace is because they become nothing more than elitist, that was it. 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,” Ojeda added, alluding to his populist characterization as a pro-union, pro-worker defendant.
Ojeda said he made his decision after surveying the list of presidential potentials, which includes figures like Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Ojeda told The Intercept that none of these politicians would stand up to Trump like he would.
“We’re going to have quite a few lifetime politicians that are going to throw their hat in the ring, but I guarantee you there’s going to be a hell of a lot more of them than there are people like myself that is, a working-class person that basically can relate to the people on the ground, the people that are actually struggling,” Ojeda said.
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