I’d been wondering how long it would take after the midterms for the first Democrat to officially file their paperwork and launch their bid to be the nominee for President in 2020. It wasn’t even a week. First out of the gate is the highly anticipated candidacy of the current frontrunner, Richard Ojeda. (Hey… if you’re the only one officially running you’re the frontrunner, okay?) What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of him? Don’t feel too bad. That just means you probably don’t live in his state senate district in West Virginia where he just lost a congressional bid. (Politico)
Richard Ojeda just lost his bid for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, but by Sunday evening he filed papers to run for president.
The new filing with the Federal Election Commission came on the same day Ojeda told supporters to be prepared for a Monday announcement.
“I hope you will join me tomorrow at noon EST for an important announcement,” he said in a Sunday email to supporters. “Because like I said, we are not done fighting.”
On Tuesday, Republican Carol Miller defeated Ojeda 56 percent to 44 percent in the southern West Virginia-based 3rd District.
Allow me to confess up front that I’d never heard of the guy either until last night. He seems like an interesting character, though. As a state senator he made a name for himself by voting for Donald Trump, an act he later said he regretted. Of course, West Virginia is probably one of the few places you can get away with a Trump vote as a Democrat.
He seems to be serious, however. If this is just some sort of vanity bid, he’s not giving any signs of it. But assuming he’s raised enough money to hire a political consultant by now, they might want to take him aside for a chat. In the unlikely event that he climbs up in the poll numbers far enough to even be considered a dark horse and merit a spot in the debates, does he really think that the progressive base is shopping around for a white good ole’ boy from the south? Particularly one who voted for Trump?
Perhaps he can use his campaign war chest to leverage a monetary advantage over the field of other presidential contenders. Ojeda was still sitting on $468,881 as of the end of September, so if he didn’t blow all of it in the final month, he should be able to at least afford a consultant or two for the coming year. He should only need to be able to raise another $799,531,119 to be competitive. And getting an early start like this, who knows how much he might haul in?
Best of luck to the state senator. This is still America, where everyone can dream as big as they like and anyone can (in theory) grow up to be President of the United States. And with a cool van like the one in the attached picture, he should get off to a fast start.