Former Army paratrooper and congressional candidate Richard Ojeda files papers to run for president

Richard Ojeda (D), a West Virginia state senator and former Army paratrooper who led the state's teachers' strike earlier this year, plans to run for president in 2020.

Ojeda released his first campaign ad overnight, and intends to make a formal announcement on Monday afternoon. Politico reported he has filed paperwork for a presidential campaign with the Federal Election Commission.

The Democrat ran for Congress in the midterms, but lost his bid to represent West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District to Republican Carol Miller. Ojeda was defeated by 12 percentage points in a district President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE carried by 49 percentage points in 2016.


Politico reported that he told supporters in an email on Sunday night that he believes his campaign can translate to the national stage.

"Families in Logan, West Virginia, were going through the same struggles as families in the Bronx, San Francisco and Houston," he wrote. "This was not a West Virginia problem. This is an American problem and it has to change."

Ojeda was one of the most prominent lawmakers during a statewide teachers' strike that kept public schools closed for more than a week. Teachers boycotted work over low wages and skyrocketing health insurance costs.

The West Virginia Democrat is likely to be one of many party members declaring a presidential bid in the coming months. Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Swalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions MORE (D-Calif.) is said to be running in 2020, and numerous high-profile figures like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTexas Democratic official urges Biden to visit state: 'I thought he had his own plane' The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements A game theorist's advice to President Trump on filling the Supreme Court seat MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters Republicans not immune to the malady that hobbled Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE are viewed as possible candidates.