A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
May 8, 2016
A Democratic West Virginia Senate candidate was attacked today with brass knuckles and hospitalized suffering from severe injuries.
Major (Retired) Richard Neece Ojeda II, decorated US Army Officer, including Two Bronze Star medals, and The Bronze Order of the De Fluery Medal, is running for the office of Senate in the 7th District of West Virginia. Major Ojeda has also earned civilian honors by being recognized as a Distinguished Mountaineer in 2005 by Governor Joe Manchin III. In 2012, he was again honored with the Distinguished Mountaineer Award by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his success during another combat deployment and the creation of the LEAD Community Organization in Logan, West Virginia.
Major Ojeda is running against incumbent Arthur “Art” E. Kirkendoll (D), representing District 7 since November 14, 2011.
According to WOWK-13 News, Ojeda’s alleged attacker, Johnathan Porter, of the Whitman’s Creek area of Logan County turned himself in to an off-duty officer around 6 p.m. Sunday, May 8, 2016.
WOWK-13 reports that Ojeda was attending a cookout Sunday in Logan when a man asked Ojeda for a campaign bumper sticker. Witnesses said when Ojeda bent down to apply the sticker to the man’s vehicle, the man hit Ojeda with brass knuckles, eight to nine times, knocking him out. When the man tried to run over Ojeda with his vehicle, several bystanders stepped in to stop the assault.
According to this same report, a trooper said Porter also rammed two ATVs as he was trying to flee from the incident, including one ATV with a driver.
The trooper also said Ojeda sustained multiple facial fractures and a severe concussion, but is in stable condition.
On his public official Facebook site, as of 10 PM, Sunday, Richard Ojeda II stated, “I am now even more dedicated to the cause. This doesn’t scare me and I don’t quit! This was premeditated and there was a reason the guy did this. Regardless, if anyone thinks that this will get me to march in line you obviously don’t know me very well.”
West Virginia Senator Art Kirkendoll released a statement on the assault of his opponent:
“I was informed that my opponent was physically assaulted and injured at a political function today. I do not now, nor have I ever, condoned violence. It has no place in our political campaigns or in our communities. My and my family’s thoughts and prayers are with my opponent and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Johnathan Porter is the brother of Harold Porter Jr., who is running for Logan County Assessor.
Copyright 2016 Andrea Fekete
Major (Retired) Richard Neece Ojeda II
Senate candidate Richard Ojeda is recovering from his injuries and will continue his campaign.