Richard Neece Ojeda II is an American politician and retired United States Army major who served in the West Virginia Senate representing the 7th district from 2016 until 2019.
57 Facts About Richard Ojeda
Richard Ojeda initially joined the United States Army as an enlisted soldier and went through officer training after finishing college.
Richard Ojeda was elected to the West Virginia Senate in 2016.
Richard Ojeda received national attention when he became a vocal supporter of the 2018 teachers' strike and advocated for the legalization of cannabis in West Virginia.
In November 2018, Richard Ojeda announced his candidacy for president in the 2020 election, but he dropped out in January 2019 when his campaign failed to gain traction.
In January 2020, Richard Ojeda announced he would instead challenge incumbent US Senator Shelley Moore Capito in the 2020 election, but he failed to secure the Democratic nomination in the primary.
Richard Ojeda was born into a Democratic family and he registered as a Democrat.
Richard Ojeda remarked that "back when I was in high school, being a Republican was like cursing".
One of Richard Ojeda's grandparents died in a mining accident after fighting in World War II.
Richard Ojeda's father was born in the United States, but moved to Mexico and lived there until the age of eight.
Richard Ojeda earned a bachelor's degree in General Education from West Virginia State University and a master's degree in Business and Organizational Security from Webster University.
Richard Ojeda served 25 years in the United States Army, starting as an enlisted soldier before going through officer training and rising to the rank of major.
Richard Ojeda helped start a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps at a local high school.
Richard Ojeda established a social services nonprofit, the Logan Empowerment Action and Development, which engaged in community cleanup, Christmas toy drives, providing meals for the needy, and raising money for shoes for kids.
Richard Ojeda decided to enter politics while listening to Manchin discuss disparities in allocation of "manufacturing hubs" to different regions of West Virginia.
Richard Ojeda entered politics in 2014, running for Congress in West Virginia's 3rd District.
Richard Ojeda was assaulted at a primary campaign event on May 8,2016, in Logan County, West Virginia.
Richard Ojeda went on to win the Democratic Primary for the 7th District of the West Virginia Senate, defeating incumbent Art Kirkendoll.
Richard Ojeda has stated "I don't think I've ever voted for a Democrat for president" and supported Donald Trump in 2016.
Richard Ojeda told Politico that he voted for Trump because he initially believed Trump would do something for West Virginians.
Richard Ojeda said he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary.
Richard Ojeda resigned from the West Virginia Senate on January 14,2019, citing frustration with the legislature's slow pace and his inability to accomplish all his legislative goals.
Richard Ojeda rose to prominence for his early support of and leading role in the West Virginia teacher strikes.
Richard Ojeda then introduced several bills, including ones addressing public employees' healthcare needs, raising their wages, and giving teachers tax deductions on purchased classroom supplies.
Richard Ojeda was regularly met by chants of his last name and other expressions of appreciation and commendation while traveling the state to speak out in support of the strikers.
Richard Ojeda traveled to California to support the 2019 Los Angeles teachers' strike, proclaiming "Don't make us go West Virginia on you" in an op-ed published in The Intercept.
Richard Ojeda ran for West Virginia's 3rd congressional district, a seat which was vacated by Republican Evan Jenkins, who filed instead to run in the primary for the US Senate.
Richard Ojeda's campaign was staffed in part by local residents who were working on the campaign without pay, and held private jobs while working on the campaign.
Richard Ojeda won the Democratic primary on May 9,2018, defeating Shirley Love, Janice Hagerman, and Paul Davis.
Richard Ojeda took issue with Miller's criticism in a campaign ad.
Richard Ojeda made an appearance on The Young Turks interview show Rebel HQ, where he discussed his economic policies.
In November 2018, Richard Ojeda filed with the Federal Election Commission, officially becoming a candidate for President of the United States.
Richard Ojeda's campaign focuses included ending government corruption and returning the Democratic Party to a party that benefited the working class.
Richard Ojeda resigned from the West Virginia Senate on January 9,2019, to focus on his presidential bid.
Richard Ojeda dropped out of the race on January 26,2019, citing his inability to get face time with the networks, and stating one must have access to wealth and power to run for office.
On January 13,2020, Richard Ojeda announced his campaign for the United States Senate, hoping to challenge incumbent Shelley Moore Capito.
At the time of his concession, Richard Ojeda endorsed Swearengin as the Democratic Party's nominee in the general election.
Richard Ojeda has been described by some as a populist of the "left-wing variety", and a "staunch progressive".
Richard Ojeda identifies as a traditional working-class Democrat and laments what he perceives as a Democratic party that is increasingly drifting away from its working-class roots and becoming a party of the elite.
Richard Ojeda has been described as a moderate Democrat and he stated that he voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Richard Ojeda describes himself as a "conservative on most cultural issues" who supports coal jobs and border security.
Richard Ojeda was one of the few West Virginia lawmakers who came out outspokenly in favor of raising taxes on corporations and the rich, calling for higher corporate taxes to offset spending cuts that had negatively affected public services and employees in the state.
Richard Ojeda is devoutly pro-union and has received $121,440 from several unions, including the American Federation of Teachers and the Teamsters' Union.
On gun control, Richard Ojeda has been described as pro-gun, and has stated he agreed with Carol Miller's position that increased services for the mentally-ill would help ease gun violence, his own stances on guns have been described as similar to Miller's overall, such as mass shootings, and in doing so he would launch a campaign to help remove stigmas regarding mentally-ill individuals.
Richard Ojeda has stated that he supports the second amendment, and does not believe more restrictions are needed.
However, on August 8,2019, following the Dayton and El Paso shootings, Richard Ojeda called pro-gun rights politicians "spineless pieces of shit" who "didn't have the balls" to take on the NRA.
Richard Ojeda called for heavier gun restrictions, citing recent mass shootings which accounted for a total of 74 deaths.
Richard Ojeda has stated that Congress and the president should be barred from taking out extra insurance, and would instead have to rely on the standard healthcare which would be afforded every American citizen for the course of their terms to incentivize them in promoting and maintaining quality comprehensive universal healthcare coverage.
Richard Ojeda has noted that he sees a limited role of the anthracite coal in steel-making for the foreseeable future but has acknowledged that coal is "not gonna come back", and expressed his desire to find a way for miners to transition into other well-paying jobs.
Richard Ojeda supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers".
Richard Ojeda has called for the legalization of marijuana and clemency for those incarcerated for possession.
Richard Ojeda advocates directing funds raised from taxes on cannabis sales to fund public works.
Richard Ojeda has taken stances against the pharmaceutical industry, focusing in particular on its role in sparking the opioid epidemic.
Richard Ojeda has proposed requiring body-cams on lobbyists in order to increase government transparency and public oversight.
Richard Ojeda is a supporter of WolfPAC, and has pledged not to take corporate donations for his campaign.
Richard Ojeda has proposed that federally elected officials and Cabinet officials must donate to charity any net worth exceeding one million dollars to prevent exploitation of political office for personal financial gain.
Richard Ojeda has called for implementing "donor vouchers," allocated funds that would give individual voters small amounts of money to donate to the candidate of their choice, to enhance the financial sway of individual, poorer voters.