Don’t underestimate this passionate and decorated politician from West Virginia. At first glance Richard Ojeda might not seem like a likely contender in the 2020 primaries, but his background shows he has potential to give democrat front runners a surprisingly serious challenge. Everything about his past works in his favor; his humble upbringings that connect him to the average voter, his Mexican ancestry that is sure to appeal to Latinos, his military career, his charity work, and his fierce loyalty to his constituents.
When looking at Ojeda one might never guess he’s a democrat with Latino heritage. His impressive military career and South Carolina pride alone would make a simple voter guess that he is a conservative republican, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He’s a prime example of why one should not judge a book by its cover.
During his time in the WV State Senate he introduced Senate Bill 386 for the legalization of medical marijuana, which was signed into law in April 2017. He fought for improved pay for WV teachers and was a big supporter during their strikes which lead to him becoming a hero in the state. More recently he has gone to LA to support the teacher strikes there as well, showing that he’s already on the move in gaining rapid support for his campaign.
All of this so far makes Ojeda a dream come true, but it gets even better. While he arguably leans left more often than not, the man from Minnesota is often described as a progressive moderate. For example, he supported Trump during his initial campaign for president, a decision he later came to publicly regret. The point being, however, that despite being a staunch democrat since he was young, he voted republican for president. He also says that it wasn’t the first time that he had done so.
There are some signs of troubled water for the former WV State Senator, however. His “unhinged” comments often cause problems for him later. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, often sounding like he’s still in the barracks. When talking about his reversal in supporting Trump he said he had done so because Trump hadn’t “done shit” in dealing with the people he promised to fight against, (presumably Big Business and corrupt politicians who were failing to take proper action to fix America). In fact, in the same interview he says “shit” eight times.
While this “real” attitude might appeal to some, it’s going to make him look bad to more conservative types, something he can’t afford as a Darkhorse candidate who needs every supporter that he can get. It’s also going to make it harder for him to stay cool-headed when dealing with attacks from his opponents, especially republicans like Trump who already have insulted Ojeda. He might just end up saying something that he regrets. Additionally, many voters are not going to be looking for another “real” candidate this time around because that’s something they already made the mistake of doing with the Donald. Even if they like Ojeda he might turn them off with such crude behavior that’s better left in the coal mines.
All in all, Ojeda is sure to be an exciting candidate to watch as the primaries draw near. He’s charismatic, unabashed, and ready to take on anything. Stay tuned to find out more as we continue to watch his progress.
Photo by skeeze