Tuesday, June 19, 2018

If a Democrat Can Win in West Virginia...

The Cook Political Report rates the 3rd Congressional District of West Virginia as "Likely Republican." Some 72% of the district voted for Trump. But other things have also happened, and the upshot is that more people should be watching the rise of Democratic state Senator and career Army man Richard Ojeda (pronounced "Oh-jed-ah") who won the May 8th Democratic primary with over 50% of the vote against three other candidates, and who could very well make Flippity-Flip in November.

He's tough. And tattooed. Brash, even. He's a soldier's soldier. He trained as an Army engineer, and as a Captain he commanded the 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat-Airborne) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2010 and now holding the rank of Major, Ojeda volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan as a combat advisor with the 10th Mountain Division in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he mentored over 1,200 Afghan Police.

He first ran for the West Virginia Senate in 2014. He became an outspoken critic of majority Republican policies, especially labor laws and the treatment of public sector employees. This year, he became a great champion of the state's striking teachers. But let him tell it:

Hell, he voted for Trump in 2016 and now regrets it. “It’s been a friggin’ circus for a solid year,” Ojeda told Politico magazine. “All he’s done ... is shown that he’s taking care of the daggone people he’s supposed to be getting rid of.”

The Primary Statistic
Carol Miller
Ojeda's Republican opponent in November -- it's an open seat -- will be Carol Miller, a member of the State House from Cabell County. She wants everyone to know that she's always prayed before voting on every single bill, and she will bring that sanctified habit to the U.S. Congress with her. Otherwise, she's a sock puppet Trumpian.

The 3rd CD is actually majority registered Democrat, but they've been voting Republican since the first Bush, motivated by guns, God, and abortion. A Democrat inoculated against at least two of those taints might convince coal country men to think about other stuff for a change, like the advantaging of the 1% over everybody else. (Footnote: Ojeda has a pro-choice voting record in the WVSenate.)

The 3rd CD is majority Democrat, so perhaps naturally, more Democrats turned out to vote in the primaries on May 8th, but the numbers that Ojeda drew, compared to Carol Miller's vote total, are pretty striking:
29,837 -- total votes for Ojeda
8,936 -- total votes for Carol Miller
That looks like a wave to me.

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