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 TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE carried by 49 percentage points in 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 SwalwellDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Momentum builds behind push to pass laws enshrining abortion rights Swalwell pledges to appoint Supreme Court justices who defend Roe v. Wade MORE (D-Calif.) is said to be running in 2020, and numerous high-profile figures like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg jokes about holding town hall same night as 'Game of Thrones' finale Buttigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Warren offers to help Twitter user with her love life MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message De Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Buttigieg condemns 'voices on Fox' for spreading 'fear' and 'lies' ahead of town hall appearance MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Robinette BidenButtigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE are viewed as possible candidates.