On November 11, 2018, Democrat Richard Ojeda announced his 2020 candidacy for President of the United States. In 2016, Ojeda was a candidate to represent the 7th District in the West Virginia Senate. He defeated his Republican opponent, Jordan Ray Bridges, with nearly 59% of the vote. This past midterm election, Ojeda challenged Republican Carol Miller for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, losing with just under 44% of the vote.
According to his VoteSmart biography, Ojeda was born in Minnesota but studied General Education at West Virginia University and attained a Master’s Degree in Business and Organization Security at Webster University. In addition, Ojeda served 24 years in the military and worked as a high school teacher until being elected to the West Virginia Senate.
While in the West Virginia Senate, he sponsored the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, which legalized medical marijuana. In 2016, he supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, but he shifted his support to then-candidate Donald Trump in the general election. However, since 2016, Ojeda has stated that he regrets voting for President Trump.
In his presidential campaign website, he proposes The Required Sacrifice Mission, which would require anyone who is elected to public office or appointed to the Cabinet to sacrifice any net worth over $1 million to a charity of their choice. In addition, he proposes increasing the pension for public officials from $130,000 to $250,000 and believes elected officials should have the same healthcare package as their constituents.
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