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Richard Ojeda Biography
Richard Ojeda (Richard Neece Ojeda II) is an American politician and retired Army Major. He served as the senator in West Virginia from the 7th district in 2016 until his resignation in January 2019. Richard Ojeda once announced for the presidential candidacy of the United States on November 12, 2018. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Richard Ojeda Age
Richard Ojeda was born on September 25, 1970, in
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S. He is 48 years old as of 2018
Richard Ojeda family
Ojeda was born in Rochester, Minnesota to Florena (Pansera) and Richard N. Ojeda who worked as a nurse anesthetist.
Richard Ojeda Wife
Ojeda is married to Kelly Ojeda since 1997 and together they have two children
Richard Ojeda Height
- Height: 6-0
Richard Ojeda ImageRichard Ojeda Image Image
Richard Ojeda Career
Ojeda served 24 years in the United States Army, starting as an enlisted soldier before going through officer training and later rising to the rank of major. He again earned two Bronze Stars. During his service, he spent time in Korea, Honduras, Jordan, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he was attached to the 20th Engineer Brigade.
After retirement from the military, Ojeda later worked as an ROTC instructor at Chapmanville Regional High School from 2013 to 2017, he again resigned due to time constraints related to his service as State Senator, now in addition with his run for Congress. Ojeda helped in starting a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at a local high school. He again established a social services nonprofit, the Logan Empowerment Action and Development, that engaged in a community cleanup, Christmas toy drives, provided meals for the needy, that raised money for shoes for kids. At this time, Ojeda also started penning letters to the editor of the Logan Banner. As a result, the American politician was invited by WV Senator Joe Manchin to the 2013 State of the Union as a guest. Ojeda later decided to enter politics after listening to Sen. Manchin discuss disparities in the allocation of “manufacturing hubs” to different regions of WV.
Ojeda joined politics in 2014 and ran for Congress in West Virginia’s 3rd District where he garnered 34% of the vote in the Democratic primary, losing to incumbent Nick Rahall whom Ojeda challenged because he believed Rahall was not doing enough to advance the interests of the district.
Richard Ojeda Net Worth
He has an estimated net worth of $1. million
Richard Ojeda For President
Ojeda announced for his candidacy for the presidency of the United States on November 12, 2018, and later dropped out on January 25, 2019
Richard Ojeda West Virginia
He won the Senatorial seat for West Virginia both the Democratic Primary for the 7th District on November 8, 2016, defeating Republican Jordan Bridges and later served as the West Virginia State Senator until his resignation in January 2019.
Richard Ojeda Campaign
Richard Ojeda filed for the Federal Election Commission, who declared the formation of a Principal Campaign Committee for him after declaring an interest in 2020 presidential seat.
Richard Ojeda 2020
Richard Ojeda dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on January 5, 2019, with reasons of his inability to get face time with the networks and stating one must have access to wealth and power to run for office.
Previously In November 2018, he filed with the Federal Election Commission, with declarations of forming a Principal Campaign Committee for Richard Ojeda who was vying for U.S presidency in 2020.
Richard Ojeda YouTube
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Richard Ojeda Videos
Richard Ojeda Twitter
Richard Ojeda Interview
Published: Jan 17 2019
Q. Since you announced you were running for president, you’ve spoken a lot about the need for a “Green New Deal.” The proposal has also been floated by other progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders and seems to be gaining some momentum within the Democratic Party. First of all, what exactly do you mean by a Green New Deal? What would something like that look like and why do you feel it’s so important, particularly for states like West Virginia that are so reliant on coal and the fossil fuel industry?
Ojeda: Well, the places where I’m from in Appalachia that has placed all of their eggs in one basket need to realize that we’ve got to pull away from the fossil fuel side of the house. We know that there’s a line in the sand that we can’t cross. Because once we cross that line, then we might as well just sit and watch the world die around us.
Number one, climate change does exist and we need to address it. Number two, the Green New Deal piece, bringing those green energy jobs to places like Appalachia where people have relied on coal so that those people who are in those professions can start to train and transition to these green new energy jobs.
So, instead of pulling the plug on the coal industry and watching those people and their families struggle and starve, let’s bring opportunities there now so that they can transition sooner than later and let’s go ahead and get this on track.
Let’s not have to wait until, you know, 2035. If it’s something we know needs to happen, let’s go ahead and get it done now. In places that are struggling already like Michigan and West Virginia and Kentucky, places across the Midwest that are struggling with jobs, let’s go ahead and start bringing those capabilities there now.
Q. In Ocasio-Cortez’s recent interview with 60 minutes, Anderson Cooper seemed to sort scoff at the idea of the Green New Deal and raised the question of how we could pay for a major infrastructure proposal like that. What would you say to those who think a green new deal is “unrealistic” or radical or too expensive to feasible?
Ojeda: I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was spot on with her answer. First and foremost, is being radical not wanting to watch the Earth die around us? Because I don’t think it is. And when we know, when we have scientists telling us, ‘we can’t go past this point because if we do we will not be able to come back from it,’ to me, that’s something we have to do. Do we want to be able to give our grandchildren a place that they can live in or a place where they can just absolutely struggle and die an early death?
In terms of the money, I think her answer is spot on. If we can give a $1.7 trillion tax break to the top one percent, then how come we can’t find the money to do something like bring on the Green New Deal? If we can spend decades in countries where we’re really just filling the pockets of contractors and building roads where 90 percent of people don’t even own a car, then how come we don’t have the money to make sure we have better schools and opportunities for our children? Better roads to drive on? Better opportunities for our elderly? How come we never have money for that but we always have the money to give tax breaks to the top one percent.
Q. You’ve made combating corruption and the influence of big money and powerful special interests a centerpiece of your campaign, and as I understand, your entire political career. Obviously, the fossil fuel industry has a very powerful lobby in Washington and is a major donor to both parties. Do you think it’s possible to adequately address the energy crisis and the threat of climate change without first addressing the issue of money in politics? And what do you think the best way of going about that would be?
I think you have to throw both issues up. The thing is, they completely relate to each other. The reason why people are hesitant to get on board with things like the Green New Deal is that big energy doesn’t want that to happen. They want to continue just raking in as much money as they can. It’s no different than – you know – we know that cannabis can help so many people out there. The reason why cannabis is not legalized across this country is that big pharma doesn’t know how to deal with that and be able to put all the money in their pocket.
That’s all this is. We’ve got to get big money out of politics. We’ve got to stop allowing these big energies and big pharma and organizations like that to be able to come in and grease the pockets of our legislators and have their way.
Q. In your campaign for president in 2020, you’re not taking any money from the fossil fuel industry or any other corporations or special interests, right?
Ojeda: I do not take corporate PAC money and let me tell you something – in terms of big pharma and big energy, absolutely not. I’ve thrown big energy out of my office.
Q. You did so specifically while you were a state senator, right? You told people to get out of your office.
Ojeda: Yes. Yes, I did.
Q. In your recent run for Congress in West Virginia, you lost by 12 points but you still managed to swing an overwhelmingly red district by 36 points compared to 2016, which I understand was the largest swing of any district in the country towards the Democratic party in the midterms. You did that while running a very bold, very progressive campaign. How do you explain that? And what would you say to people like Claire Mccaskill or Joe Donnelly who say Democrats need to be ultra-moderate and conciliatory in order to have a chance to win in rural areas like West Virginia?
Ojeda: Well, first and foremost, the reason why I was able to do so well as I relate to the people. Right now, we already see it. You already have Elizabeth Warren trying to drink her beer, Beto O’Rourke having his teeth cleaned. Right now, everybody is going to come out of the woodwork and act like they’re one of you. They’re not. I relate to the people because I am one of the people.
I’m not against people that have wealth. But I’m just saying that you have no concept of what life is like to that person out there that are struggling from paycheck to paycheck. For that work that is wondering if he’s going to have a job next month. That mother that’s trying to put food on the table for her child. These people do not understand what those people’s lives are like. I think that you’ve got to be upfront with the people. You have to be bold and let people know exactly where you stand and I do just that.
“President Trump is like the child of a dumpster fire and a train wreck.”
Q. Do you think there’s sort of a broader failure from the Democratic Party as a whole to connect with people in states like yours?
Ojeda: Absolutely. And there’s a reason why. If you look, we’ve just lost over a thousand seats across this country. There’s a reason for that. The Democratic Party has gotten away from what is a true Democrat is – which is taking care of the working class citizens, supporting unions so that people have a seat at the table, taking care of our elderly and not just talking about it.
If I’m going to send you into harm’s way and break you as a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, I’m going to fix you when you come home. I’m going to stand up and I’m going to fight for the people. The Democratic Party got away from that and all they’re focused on is how much money can they raise. How much money can a person raise for the party? What happens is, the person that’s got the most money is not always the best candidate. I would say in most cases, it’s never the best candidate. You find the person out there that can relate to the people and you got somebody that the people would want to support.
Q. You’ve said that you did vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and you’ve said the reason for that was you felt like Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party weren’t strong enough on working class issues and that you felt like there was at least some hope that some of Trump’s populist rhetoric might lead to results for people in your state. Is that a pretty good summary of how you felt at the time? And looking back now, do you feel like President Trump has betrayed the working class people he said he’d fight for?
Ojeda: I will tell you right now, President Trump is like the child of a dumpster fire and a train wreck. Okay? It’s like this, and I said this last night in an interview; if you were told by a doctor that you have terminal cancer and you have thirty days to live and then another doctor comes and says, ‘I can help you live,’ who are you going to go with? Trump went to the auto industry in Michigan and Ohio and told them, ‘I’m going to keep your jobs rolling.’ And guess what? They supported him. He went to West Virginia and he told those coal miners that he was going to do the same thing.
I wanted Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was robbed in West Virginia. He won all 55 counties yet they gave it to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic Party did not put a candidate up who people could get behind in Middle America, in Appalachia. So, at the end of the day, it came down to who is going to help people. One of them might have been completely lying but everyone just wanted to give that person – they just wanted someone that could give them a little bit of hope. But it was false hope.
Q. After seeing something like that godown, is it frustrating to you to see so many Democratic leaders say that in order to connect to people in middle or rural America, you need to run a centrist, establishment-type candidate?
Ojeda: They don’t get it. But that doesn’t surprise me. 90 percent of the people running around Washington don’t get it.
Q. I understand that you were attacked and almost lost your life while running for the state Senate in West Virginia. Can you tell us what exactly happened there and what has motivated you to keep going and to continue to be involved in politics after an experience like that?
Ojeda: I have a lot that motivates me and a lot of it deals with the fact that I got the names of my fallen brothers on my back that didn’t come home. And when I came home, I realized that the leaders on the civilian side were not doing their job and had their hands in the cookie jar. It was a fiefdom is what it was. So, I started challenging these people and I ran for a state Senate seat. I can’t blame the person I ran against for being the one that attacked me, but I can guarantee you the folks that did not want me to beat him were behind it.
I was at a gathering and a person who I’ve known practically my entire life asked me for a bumper sticker. I put one on the back of his vehicle and then he said, ‘can you put one on the front?’ I didn’t realize that when I went around the front, his plan was to lure me so that nobody could see. When I kneeled down to put the bumper sticker on the front of the vehicle, he struck me in the back of the head with an object and then rolled me over and with brass knuckles on his hand broke eight bones in my face.
If it wasn’t for someone yelling who walked around the corner and saw it happen, he probably would have beat me to death, rolled me into the ditch line and drove away.
Q. I’m really sorry to hear that. Was there a moment after that happened where you ever felt like maybe that might be the end for you in politics? Did you feel discouraged at all or did it just sort of reinvigorate you?
Ojeda: Oh, no. I had a lot of families that were like, ‘you really need to stop this,’ because politics is very ugly where I’m from. But the truth is, that only fueled my desire to fight harder. I’m not going to let these people do something like that and win. You can’t do that. Never walk past something you know is wrong and fail to make comment. Because if you do, you’ve created a lower standard. I’m not going to just sit by and watch lower standards rule the day.
Q. I noticed that you end all your campaign videos with a signature catchphrase that I presume is from your days in the military. For those who don’t know, would you mind just telling us what the phrase is and what it means to you and why you’ve chosen to end all your videos that way?
Ojeda: I say ‘Sappers clear the way, Airborne all the way.’ As a person that spent 24 years in the military, I was a light Airborne Sapper. I spent my time in light Airborne Sapper battalions. As a combat engineer, that’s excellence. And I believe in that. The people I served side by side within the military are some of the greatest people to have ever walked this Earth because they understand what loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, integrity, and courage means. You don’t have to question their loyalty to you.
That’s what I want, that’s what should be in politics. The people that we elect as leaders should be the ones that are above reproach. These are people that you shouldn’t have to question. That’s what I want to get to and that’s what I’m bringing to politics.
Richard Ojeda News
Former W.Va. Sen. Richard Ojeda pulls out of U.S. presidential race
Published: Sun 11:18 PM, Nov 11, 2018
Ojeda, who was a Democratic senator for the 7th district of West Virginia, ran last year for a U.S. House seat in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional district. He lost that race to Republican Carol Miller. Click here to see that story.
Earlier this month, Ojeda said he was giving up his state Senate seat to focus on the presidential race.
Ojeda released this statement on Friday:
“Today I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all the people who have supported and believed in this campaign. The indications were very positive from an overwhelming response to our videos, to thousands of volunteers, and a level of grassroots fundraising support that grew every day. However, the last thing I want to do is accept money from people who are struggling for a campaign that does not have the ability to compete. So today I am announcing that I am suspending this campaign.
“When I was a child my grade school teachers told us all that anyone in America could grow up and become President. I now realize that this is not the case. Unless someone has extreme wealth or holds influence and power it just isn’t true. Especially if you dare to step out of line and challenge the powers that be. The big donors won’t take your calls, the media won’t say your name, and the establishment will do everything they can to crush you.
I want you to know though that my fight does not end! I may not have the money to make the media pay attention but I will continue raising my voice and highlighting the issues the working class, the sick and the elderly face in this nation.
I expect to have an announcement very soon about what my next steps will be. But know this, this campaign was never about me but about the issues we care about, checking big pharma, ending corruption and elevating the working class citizen. Nothing and no one can stop me from fighting for what’s right. Sappers clear the way. Airborne all the way.”
Hardesty resigned from his post as the president of the Logan County Board of Education Thursday following his appointment.
He served as a member of the Logan County BOE for 25 years.
As a state senator, he will represent the district that covers all of Boone, Lincoln, Logan, and parts of Mingo and Wayne counties.
Hardesty, who lives in Holden, is the managing member of Capital Concepts, a government relations firm.
He also served on the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors and was the Director of the Office of Coalfield Development in the West Virginia Development Office.
Ojeda resigned from his state senatorial post-Monday to focus on his bid in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Primary.
A representative previously told WSAZ that Ojeda is not going to be a part-time representative for the people in his district and wants them to have same representation he was able to give in the past. He explained that Ojeda can’t do that if he is missing part of the session and other important meetings as he runs for president of the United States.
Ojeda is a Democratic state senator for the 7th District of West Virginia. His resignation was effective at the close of business day Monday.
The county Democrat executive committee from his district will vote on three names of replacements to fill Ojeda’s seat. The committee will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday in Chapmanville. Gov. Jim Justice will then pick one.
The deadline for applicants seeking to fill the seat is noon Wednesday, Jan. 16. According to the West Virginia Democratic Party, Boone County has a sitting senator, so applicants must come from Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne counties.
Also in the letter, Ojeda says that he was frustrated by “not having been able to do more” in his role as a senator for West Virginia. He also says he believes he “cannot help remedy other serious issues facing West Virginia by directly working within this body, within the state.”
Ojeda, who is from Logan County, called his career as a senator frustrating at times, “but a true honor.”
He also used the letter to urge lawmakers to pass “a clean bill” for an additional raise plus PEIA cash infusion for teachers in West Virginia — a bill “that will not attack their hard-earned tenure.” Additionally, Ojeda used the letter to talk about the benefits of medical cannabis, saying he’s glad the West Virginia legislature legalized medical marijuana.
According to a campaign representative, Ojeda, a Democrat from Logan County, will resign by Monday.
The representative says Ojeda is not going to be a part-time representative for the people in his district and wants them to have same representation he was able to give in the past. He explained that Ojeda can’t do that if he is missing part of the session and other important meetings as he runs for president.
In last November’s general election, Ojeda lost the U.S. House seat in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district to Republican Carol Miller. Click here to see that story.
The process to choose Ojeda’s replacement will go as follows: The county Democrat executive committee from his district will appoint five men and five women to choose three names, and Gov. Jim Justice will then pick one.
He officially made the announcement Monday afternoon in a live video on his Facebook page.
“We’re going to do this together,” he proclaimed. “I’m Richard Ojeda and I’m running for the president of the United States of America.”
Last week in the General Election, Ojeda lost the U.S. House seat in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district to Republican Carol Miller.
“I chose to run for Congress because I wanted to help the people in southern West Virginia,” Ojeda said during the live announcement Monday. “We have not had people that have really fought for the working class citizens in this country.”
You can watch the full video announcement attached to this article.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Ojeda filed to run for president on Sunday.
The official announcement will be Monday at noon, according to a campaign source.
No other information is available at this time.
Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.