Dems Get a 5th Horse in 2016 Race
Virginia centrist Jim Webb is in
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2015 1:59 PM CDT
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb talks during a tour of Rippey Wind Farm, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Grand Junction, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) Jim Webb, who's spent time as a soldier in Vietnam, assistant secretary of the Navy, and US senator from Virginia, today became the fifth Democrat to declare his intention to seek the Oval Office next year, per a decidedly non-flashy statement on his campaign website. Acknowledging that "more than one candidate intends to raise at least a billion dollars—some estimates run as high as two billion dollars" in the campaign, and that he'll likely be vastly outspent, Webb rejects "messaging" and doubles down on his rough-around-the-edges image and military and foreign policy bona fides.

"We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process," Webb writes. "And at the same time our fellow Americans need proven, experienced leadership that can be trusted to move us forward from a new President’s first days in office. I believe I can offer both." Webb formed an exploratory committee last November, in what was regarded as the opening salvo to the presidential election; he's the 19th candidate overall to declare. Still yet to come: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, set to announce July 21, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Meanwhile, some pretty unsavory characters are more popular than most of the candidates; the New York Times runs down the list of who's really running here.
 

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