West Virginia 'Trump Democrat' congressional hopeful 'threatened' Republican delegate on Facebook messenger

By Lukas Mikelionis

A Democrat seeking a U.S. House seat in deep-red West Virginia made an apparent physical threat to a state delegate, saying “when I’m done with you, you will beg me to ease up.”

Richard Ojeda, an Army veteran and state senator who’s been branded as a “JFK with tattoos and a bench press” and a so-called “Trump Democrat” for voting for the president during the 2016 election, has been accused of physically threatening Rupie Phillips, a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates since 2013.

“When I’m done with you, you will beg me to ease up. I’m going to make you famous… and it’s not going to be in a good way,” Ojeda wrote in a Facebook message to the lawmaker.

Phillips is a Democrat-turned-Republican who ran for the party’s nomination for U.S. Congress but lost to Republican Carol Miller – Ojeda’s opponent in the upcoming midterm election in November. He shared the threatening message in a Facebook post on Sunday. Ojeda initially blocked Phillips on Facebook after sending the message but unblocked him after the messages were posted by Phillips.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, he said the threat from Ojeda was prompted after Miller attended an annual craft beer tasting and a chili cook off festival in his area where he introduced her to the local crowd.

“What boils down to, [Ojeda] had some family members at the cookout and they’re talking about me taking Miller around to his hometown and introduce her to people. I guess he thought he could scare me and I guess I hurt his feelings,” Phillips said of what could have prompted Ojeda to send him the message.

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