UPDATE: Gov. Justice appoints replacement for Richard Ojeda

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- UPDATE 1/17/19
Governor Jim Justice has appointed Paul Hardesty to the 7th Senatorial District replacing Richard Ojeda, who resigned earlier this week.

The district covers all of Boone, Lincoln, Logan, and parts of Mingo and Wayne.

Hardesty has served as the President of the Logan County Board of Education for 25 years, and resigned to take his seat in the Senate.

He has also served as the managing member of the Capitol Concepts government relations firm, was on Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors, and was the director of the Office of Coalfield Development in the West Virginia Development Office.

UPDATE 1/15/19
Richard Ojeda officially stepped down from his West Virginia Senate seat Monday to focus on his presidential run.

Ojeda served in the 7th district and says he is resigning now to allow the seat to be filled.

In his letter of resignation, Ojeda says he hopes a bill will be passed to ensure an additional raise for teachers as well as PEIA funding. He also expressed his happiness regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.

Ojeda announced his run for U.S. president in November of last year. He will run as a Democrat in hopes of facing off against President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The county Democrat executive committee from the seventh district will now appoint five men and five women to choose three names, and Governor Jim Justice will then pick one to fill Ojeda's seat.

Ojeda says he hopes Justice picks a "strong Democrat" who isn't a "lobbyist or a friend."

You can read Ojeda's full resignation letter at the Related Document (to the right on desktop, below on mobile.)

ORIGINAL STORY 1/9/19
West Virginia Senator Richard Ojeda announced Wednesday that he will resign his Senate seat to focus on his run for U.S. president.

According to a campaign representative, Ojeda, a Democrat from Logan County, will resign by Monday.

The representative says Ojeda is not going to be a part-time representative for the people in his district and wants them to have same representation he was able to give in the past. He explained that Ojeda can't do that if he is missing part of the session and other important meetings as he runs for president.

In last November's general election, Ojeda lost the U.S. House seat in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district to Republican Carol Miller. Click here to see that story.

The process to choose Ojeda's replacement will go as follows: the county Democrat executive committee from his district will appoint five men and five women to choose three names, and Governor Jim Justice will then pick one.