Former West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda ended his 2020 presidential bid on Friday.
Ojeda, a Democrat, launched his campaign shortly after losing his 2018 US House race. He said in a Facebook post that he was suspending his campaign because “the last thing I want to do is accept money from people who are struggling for a campaign that does not have the ability to compete.”
“I want you to know though that my fight does not end! I may not have the money to make the media pay attention, but I will continue raising my voice and highlighting the issues the working class, the sick and the elderly face in this nation,” Ojeda wrote on Facebook.
Ojeda’s announcement comes just 10 days after he announced he was leaving his state Senate seat to focus on his presidential campaign. Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced days later that he was appointing Paul Hardesty to fill the seat.
Ojeda – a former Army paratrooper who ran as a Democrat in 2018 as a populist and Trump critic in Republican West Virginia – first announced he was running for President in November of 2018, leaning on the fact that he markedly over-performed how Hillary Clinton did in the state in 2016. Trump won the state’s 3rd Congressional District by 49 percentage points in 2016. Ojeda closed that gap, losing by 12 percentage points to Republican Carol Miller.
But getting through a Democratic primary would have been difficult: Ojeda voted for Trump in 2016, something that may be beyond the pale for some Democrats, and failed to attract significant attention in his bid.