NPR

'Tea Party Liberal' Promises To Bring A Blue Wave To West Virginia

Richard Ojeda is a progressive Democrat from coal country who campaigns in combat boots. Supporters say he's the kind of Democrat who might be able to win in a solid Trump state in 2018.
"I put over 50,000 miles on my Jeep this race alone," said Richard Ojeda, a Democrat running for Congress in West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District. Source: Asma Khalid

Richard Ojeda joined the Army because he says it seemed like the most reasonable choice he had growing up; his alternative options, he says, were to "dig coal" or "sell dope."

So he chose the Army, where he spent more than two decades. But when he came home to Logan County, W.Va., he was stunned.

"I come home from spending 24 years in the United States Army and I realize I got kids in my backyard that have it worse than the kids I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan," he shouts into the microphone during an interview.

And so in his 40s, he jumped into politics. Ojeda ran for the state legislature and won.

Now he's running for a congressional.

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