Ron Gregory: Ojeda’s presidential run after loss is mystifying

November 18, 2018

For reasons mostly related to my computer illiteracy, last week’s column summarizing the 2018 election was delayed until now.

Suffice it to say, I will, as the late Secretary of State A. James Manchin often said, “try to do better in the future than I have in the past.”

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Most readers have complimented me on predicting the 3rd District congressional race accurately, while saying they can’t wait to see what I have to say about the Richard Ojeda presidential campaign. Honestly, I hate to disappoint ... but I am rendered almost speechless.

How on earth does a reasonable individual lose a congressional race by 13 percent, lose his home county and decide the voters have sent a message: run for president of the United States?

Yet State Sen. Richard Ojeda got that word from on high. Before one could say, “You just got embarrassed in your home county,” he was appearing on national TV to say he had kicked off his presidential campaign for 2020. His opponent in the House race, state Del. Carol Miller, was quietly enjoying her victory and he was running for president. Try to explain that. It can’t be done.

Maybe he thinks, as some have guessed, that he’ll make a name for himself in a presidential run and parlay that into some kind of national “think type” position. That’s WAY over my head.

Let us assume, for a moment, that there is some hidden political brilliance in his presidential candidacy. Why not at least wait until after Thanksgiving to announce it? Does the rush to run not portray a person more desperate for attention than votes?

That’s how I summarize it, folks. There is no logical explanation and he has embarrassed a number of supporters with this latest move.

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In the meantime, I’ll point out that I was co-director of Rudy Guiliani’s West Virginia presidential campaign. Nobody, therefore, is more qualified than me to be Ojeda’s press spokesman. Let’s get together in Iowa, Senator.

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The “big” race, where I also correctly predicted the re-election of Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, was closer than I expected. In fact, take the Libertarian candidate out of the race and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey might have won. Morrisey is now a rising star on the national scene.

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Mickey Mouse could have called the other two congressional races, so I deserve no credit there.

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The legislative races were not as good for me. I never figured Republican State Sen. Ed Gaunch to lose. I am amazed by the size of Republican Sen. Mark Maynard’s re-election margin.

Mingo County apparently became a Republican stronghold while I slept through it, given Maynard’s huge win and former Delegate Phyllis White’s defeat. In a word, “wow.”

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I did not read the steam train of opposition to the proposed plant in the Eastern Panhandle that beat Republican Delegate Riley Moore. Can you imagine there are places in West Virginia where environmental concerns outweigh the creation of jobs? Former Delegate John Doyle rode that issue to an impressive win.

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In Cabell County, Delegate Kelli Sobonya will be transferring to the county commission after defeating longtime Democrat official Bob Bailey.

Sobonya worked tirelessly in winning the job.

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Many argue that West Virginia’s’ “non-partisan” judge races are a farce and the Supreme Court contests likely confirmed that. Mailers and ads from “Republican” groups helped elect eventual winners Evan Jenkins and Tim Armstead.

In a world where the law says there can be no appearance of political party influence, candidates stood at rallies and proudly proclaimed their partisan beliefs. There was nothing “non-partisan” in these contests.

Overall, it was an entertaining election. Now let’s get ready for 2020. I can’t wait to see this.

Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185 or ronjgregory@gmail.com.

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