He’s Out: My 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Review of Richard Ojeda
Sadly as I write this, I learned Senator Richard Ojeda (D-WV) gave up his bid for the Democratic nominee for President in 2020. His campaign was not getting the attention or money needed for him to stay in the race, and that’s a shame. In any event, I decided to do a review on him anyway because he may decide to re-enter the race at a later date. Ojeda lost his Senate seat in November. As of now, his time in politics is over.
This is one of the dangers of an over-populated candidate field. We are gravitating to the “shiny” chosen gems early (Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, etc.), and in doing so, we don’t give other perhaps more qualified candidates an opportunity to shine. Don’t be tricked by the smoke and mirrors, and don’t be afraid to spend time following some of the non-household names. Sometimes the off-brands are just as good if not better than the name brands. You’ll never know if you don’t try them.
I have seen Senator Ojeda on the news from time to time and he was your typical career military guy, but I didn’t know anything about him outside of that. In doing this review I’m learning about him along with you.
My General Assessment:
Former West Virginia Senator Richard Ojeda was a West Virginia state senator and is a retired U.S. Army major. Ojeda entered politics in 2014, running for Congress in West Virginia’s 3rd District. He was assaulted at a primary campaign event on May 8, 2016, in Logan County, West Virginia. The assailant, who had ties to Ojeda’s opponent, received 1–5 years in prison. He went on to win the election.
Senator Ojeda received national attention when he became a vocal supporter of the 2018 teachers’ strike in his state. Ojeda was also a strong advocate for the legalization of cannabis in West Virginia (although I’m not sure why as WV is ground zero of the opioid crisis). He ran for West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district (a deep red district) for Senate. As the polling began to indicate a tight race, Trump traveled to WV in October to prop Ojeda’s Republican opponent. Trump mocked Ojeda while making a point of pronouncing Ojeda’s last name with a Spanish accent. He ended up losing to his opponent.
Good old-fashioned race-baiting works time and time again for simple folks. Gotta love it. Moving on…
Ojeda was pro-life but believed abortion should be legal because blocking access to abortion would disproportionately hurt the poor. During his time in the WV Senate, he introduced several bills, including ones addressing public employees’ healthcare needs, raising their wages, and giving teachers tax deductions on purchased of classroom supplies.
Ojeda’s paternal grandfather was an undocumented immigrant from the Mexican state of Jalisco who came to West Virginia during the coal boom. His grandfather later gained citizenship.
I found nothing to dislike about this guy. He seems to be for the working class folks. He was a veteran, young, and had a wonderful background that could connect with lots of average folks seeking a good leader. Unfortunately, his light has been snuffed out because the media ensures bullshit rises to the top. I would say we missed a really good candidate.
I don’t have any. He wasn’t in politics to do any harm, and it seems he used his time to work on issues that impacted working class people. Advocating for teacher pay in one of the poorest states in the country is a huge deal. His military service would have been a leg up on every candidate.
My concern is that we will continue to miss good, quality candidates because we like our usual token, folks. If we are going to get out of this mess, we may need to look at people and candidates differently. I’m saddened the media always chooses the path of least resistance. I’m sadder that we keep falling for it.
Update (1/31/19): It was brought to my attention that I made a glaring omission about Ojeda (Thank You Manny Otiko). He voted for Trump in 2016, thinking he would “do something” for the people of West Virginia. He eventually became disillusioned with Trump and decided to support Bernie Sanders. His allegiance to the Democratic Party is questionable at best. He reminds me a lot of Tulsi Gabbard.
Anyone who supported Trump with a Mexican heritage after hearing all the derogatory things he said about Mexicans probably is not a good judge of character. Based on this info if he were in, I’d have to give him a one thumb up and a side-eye.
He’s the great prospect we will never get to see. I’m sorry to see him go, but perhaps it’s best with his poor judgement for that Trump support.
I wish we would have had more time to get to know him better. Maybe we can encourage him to come back. I don’t know what the solution is, but please don’t allow the mainstream media to pick who they want for President by squeezing out alternatives who don’t have the money to pay for air time or the party backing to get the free press time.
Remember free publicity is what all candidates are seeking, and sometimes some candidates are allowed to be media whores to our detriment (hence we get Trump).
I feel really sick now that even I didn’t feature him sooner. I have to do better too. Evil is everywhere. Getting to know it is getting a little more complicated. Stay woke my friends! They are banking on us staying asleep.
Thanks again Manny Otiko for bringing the Trump vote omission to my attention. The more eyes, the merrier. It takes a village to get rid of evil.
Marley K, January 2019