By: Justin Holden
Richard Ojeda (D-WV) is one of the first confirmed presidential candidates on the democrat side to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. Of course, Ojeda will first need to win the nomination through the democratic primary process, which won’t be easy. It’s still early on as of the date I am writing this article, but we expect a crowded field of democrat presidential candidates for 2020, and only one of those candidates will emerge victorious as the party’s presidential nominee.
Ojeda is a relative newcomer to the political scene. He’s been West Virginia’s state senator from the 7th district since 2016. Ojeda won West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district democratic primary in 2018 by winning more than 50% of the votes in a field of four candidates. Ojeda went on to lose in the general election to Republican Carol Miller. However, Ojeda did receive 43.59% of the vote in the general election despite the fact that Carol Miller’s campaign had significantly more money and the district heavily favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ojeda’s backstory is an interesting one. He’s a United States military veteran that has names of his fellow soldiers that died in battle tattooed on his back. Ojeda felt compelled to run for public office upon his return from military duty, because he truly believed that many of the children in his hometown had it worse than the children in Afghanistan. Ojeda is regarded as a progressive candidate.
Ojeda’s Policy Positions:
- On Immigration: Supports DACA and a pathway to citizenship. Does not support a border wall with Mexico.
- On Healthcare: Supports a medicare for all system where every U.S. citizen, regardless of their employer or background, will be on the same healthcare plan. Additionally, cracking down on “big pharma” is a major element of his campaign.
- On Gun Control: Describes himself as “pro 2nd ammendment”, but also supports universal background checks and closing “gun show loopholes”. Does not support an assault weapons ban. Views mental health as a major factor in gun control.
- On Abortion: Position is unclear. Describes himself as “pro-life”. However, he recently stated on a TYT Network interview with Cenk Uygur that he supports a woman’s right to choose and that he’d like to increase planned parenthood spending.
- On Campaign Finance: Wants to get corporate and special interest money out of politics. Has advocated for mandatory body cameras on lobbyists. Has a unique pledge in his campaign asking that anyone elected to federal public office donate their entire net worth over $1 million to charity; once out of office, cap their annual income at $250k.
For additional information on Richard Ojeda and his presidential campaign, you can check out his website and YouTube channel: