As we head into election season heed this warning from 2016: If you are a running for office on a platform of anti corruption, for goddess sake, be cautious.
Richard Ojeda, a Veteran and Democrat candidate for a West Virginia State Senate seat landed himself in the hospital after being attacked and beaten at a campaign event two days before his primary. He suffered 8 fractures, facial lacerations and brain swelling at a BBQ on in 2016.
Witness saw Jonathan Stuart Porter beat Ojeda with brass knuckles and kick him repeatedly. After that, Porter wasn’t satisfied with just a beating, getting in his truck and facing off to run over Ojeda. A witness then stepped in the trucks way, risking himself to protect a stunned Ojeda. Porter than smashed through two ATVs driven in by neighbors trying to block his escape. Porter hid in the woods for six hours before turning himself in.
Ojeda spoke from his hospital bed about his recollection of the BBQ event where Porter asked him for a bumper sticker. He didn’t remember anything past applying the bumper sticker to Porter’s truck and then being asked for a second one for the front bumper. Ojeda came to in confusion with his head bloody on a stump, and shocked witnesses staring at him.
Porter had only spoken to deny using brass knuckles and while police speculate about a motive, Ojeda was sure the motive was political. He was convinced the beating involved his digging into corruption and nepotism plaguing the region. "The moment you start asking questions, you become public enemy number one," Ojeda said.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca
For more, read: "West Virginia State Senate Candidate, a Veteran, Brutally Beaten" written by Tim Stelloh for NBC News on May 8, 2016.