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Richard Ojeda

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Richard Ojeda
Richard Ojeda.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, West Virginia, District 3
High schoolLogan High School
Bachelor'sWest Virginia State College
Military service
Service/branchU.S Army
Years of service24
Date of birthSeptember 25, 1970
Place of birthRochester, Minnesota
ProfessionRetired U.S Army
Campaign website
Richard Ojeda campaign logo
Richard Ojeda was a 2014 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 3rd Congressional District of West Virginia. He was defeated by incumbent Nick Rahall in the primary on May 13, 2014.[1]


Ojeda was born on September 25, 1970, in Rochester, Minnesota. He was raised in Logan County, West Virginia, and he graduated from Logan High School in 1988. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1989. In 1997, he earned a bachelor's degree from West Virginia State College. After 24 years of service, Major Ojeda retired from the U.S Army in 2013.[2]


Campaign themes


Ojeda highlighted the following campaign themes on his website:[3]

  • Jobs and Industry: “I am well aware that we must continue to seek to new ways to power our growing nation and mine coal in a safe, yet cost effective way, that protects not only the environment, but places the safety of the miner as priority one...I propose a long term approach to regulating the industry to ensure that if any job is lost during the process of improving mining regulations than the same number of jobs have to be created within the economy in another industry to offset the loss...Effective leaders must work to attract new and prosperous industry to our lacking economy. I will also work to support small business owners and protect them from overreaching government policies that create barriers to succeed.”
  • Education: “I will make high school completion a priority during my time in Washington. I will work with the state to ensure that every county has the resources needed for every child to be able to reach for the stars and have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. I will support programs like the Hubcap initiative that strives toward 100% completion rates among our high school students. These programs that show success must be supported so that they remain viable in our schools and it’s time to get rid of programs that are not showing results. Students must be able ready to face the world when they graduate from high school and I will protect our education pathways from Headstart all the way to supporting Federal financial aid for college. Education will NOT fly under the radar on my watch.”
  • Social Issues: “We have a great need for increased substance abuse prevention programs, homelessness and transitional housing services, and family support programs that will not only help these folks recover, but stop this vicious cycle of families having to depend on social welfare to meet their daily living needs and never being able to adequately provide for their families. I will stand toe to toe with any leader and argue that we must have a living wage not just a minimum wage and allow those who put in a hard day at work the ability to provide for their families. I will also work with fellow leaders to make sure that every dime that we pay in to Social Security will be available when we need it. Regardless of whether you are 22 or 82, I want to make sure that those funds are preserved and protected so that we have the ability to provide a stable life after retirement or disability.”
  • Healthcare: “Every citizen deserves an affordable patient centered healthcare option to promote a healthy lifestyle and remain available when life takes a turn for the worse. Though the Affordable Care Act may not be the answer to our problems, we cannot turn our head, and act like its business as usual, when there are too many problems facing our healthcare industry. Insurance companies have been riding the wave for a long time and now it is time to make them accountable for their service to the people. They must be able to provide an option that is both affordable and of ample quality to meet our basic healthcare needs. We must support the programs that offer preventative services to reduce the overall cost of healthcare. We have to identify the areas where healthcare is failing and work to see improvements. Our healthcare professionals dedicate their careers to helping others and as Congressman, I will dedicate my career to making sure affordable healthcare is available to those who need it.”
  • Military & Veterans: “PTSD is REAL! It has caused many Soldiers severe issues with life after combat and I will dedicate myself to making sure those that seek assistance get the very best in care. The homeless issue for veterans in this country is unacceptable. If a person dedicates years of their life to serve this nation, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do everything in our power to return the favor and serve them in their time of need. I will place a high priority on supporting homeless, medical, and elderly centers dedicated towards veterans in our district. As a retired Veteran who has spent time as both an Enlisted man and Officer, I can assure you that I will protect all benefits promised to us all and I will never be afraid to ask a person in Washington if they would be willing to “send their child first” before they make a decision to commit our forces to war.”


—Richard Ojeda,



See also: West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2014

West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District was one of Ballotpedia's U.S. House battleground districts in 2014 because of incumbent Nick Rahall's vulnerability as a Democrat serving in a Republican district. Fairvote projections showed the district as only slightly favoring Democrats, but Cook PVI showed the district as heavily favoring Republicans.[5][6] In addition, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the district by 26.8 percentage points in 2012, and Sen. John McCain won the district by 13.4 percentage points in 2008. The race was rated a "Tossup" contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.[7]

Rahall defeated Richard Ojeda in the Democratic primary on May 13, 2014.[8] Rahall was defeated by West Virginia state Senator Evan Jenkins (R), a former Democrat, who switched parties in July 2013 to challenge Rahall, in the general election.

Democratic primary results

U.S. House, West Virginia District 3 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngNick Rahall Incumbent 66.5% 37,176
Richard Ojeda 33.5% 18,767
Total Votes 55,943
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Ojeda's reports.[9]

Richard Ojeda (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[10]April 15, 2014$0.00$15,790.08$(9,260.49)$6,529.59
Running totals


Ojeda and his wife, Kelly Ann, have two children, Richard III and Kayla Lavon.[2]

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