Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb speaks at an event at the public library in Council Bluffs, Iowa, April 9, 2015. 
Photo by Nati Harnik/AP

Jim Webb announces 2016 bid for president

Updated

Former Sen. Jim Webb officially announced his 2016 bid for president in an email sent on Thursday to his supporters.

The Virginia Democrat, who announced an exploratory campaign in November, slammed candidates with big money backers. “I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars – some estimates run as high as two billion dollars – in direct and indirect financial support,” Webb wrote in a veiled jab at well-funded Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

RELATED: Jim Webb stands alone on the Confederate flag

“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,” he added in the email. “I believe I can offer both.”

Webb also focused on his background in the military as evidence of his ability to serve as commander in chief. The 69-year-old is a veteran of the Vietnam war, where he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts. He later spent four years in the Pentagon working as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy. Following that, Webb served as a journalist embedded with troops in Beirut in 1983 and Afghanistan in 2004, according to his statement, which also pointed to the six years he served on both the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.  

Webb is the fifth Democrat to join the race, following Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. He is the 15th candidate in the 2016 field overall.

Jim Webb

Jim Webb announces 2016 bid for president

Updated