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 Trump carried by 49 percentage points in 2016.

{mosads}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 Swalwell (D-Calif.) is said to be running in 2020, and numerous high-profile figures like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden are viewed as possible candidates.

Tags 2020 presidential race Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Eric Swalwell Joe Biden

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