CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Senator Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, will resign from his seat in the state Legislature next week to focus on his bid for the United State presidency.

Ojeda, who was first elected to the state Senate in 2016, announced his presidential run last November, days after losing to Republican Carol Miller in the 3rd Congressional District contest.

“I cannot — I will not — allow myself to not be sitting in my seat and leave it empty,” Ojeda told West Virginia Public Broadcasting. “It needs to be filled with somebody who’s going to go in here and just going to do their best to help the state,”

Ojeda gained prominence during the first two years of his time in office; he was one of the main actors in getting the state’s medical cannabis bill passed in 2017 and was one of the leaders of the statewide teachers’ strike.

Regarding a replacement, a 10-member Democratic committee, made up of five men and five women from Ojeda’s district, will be responsible for offering Gov. Jim Justice three choices for the seat.

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