Editor's note: Ojeda announced on January 25, 2019, that he was suspending his campaign.
Born: September 25, 1970
Birthplace: Rochester, Minnesota
Age on Inauguration Day: 50
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: voteojeda.com
Education: West Virginia State University (Bachelor’s degree); Webster University (MBA)
Professions: U.S. Army Major (Ret.); High school ROTC instructor
Public office: Elected to West Virginia state Senate in 2016 (but he announced in January that he would resign to focus on presidential run); Lost U.S. House race in West Virginia’s 3rd District in 2018.
Personal: Married to Kelly Ann Ojeda, and father of two.
Life and career highlights
- Last name is pronounced oh-JED-ah.
- Served 24 years in the U.S. Army, including two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Awarded two bronze stars.
- Co-founded a nonprofit group that gave shoe vouchers to schoolchildren and provided meals to the poor and elderly.
- Was the political face of West Virginia’s first-ever statewide teacher’s strike in 2018.
- Successfully sponsored legislation to make medical marijuana legal in West Virginia.
- Self-described coal industry supporter but critical of coal companies for not paying that wealth to the community.
- Unlike most Democrats, Ojeda does not support universal background checks for buying a gun.
- Voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but he says he now regrets it.
- Interviewed for the 2018 Michael Moore documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9.” He said some children in Logan County, WV, where he grew up “have it worse than the kids I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan.”