Photo: Facebook/Richard Ojeda

On Sunday, a Democratic candidate for West Virginia’s state senate was brutally beaten in an attack he believes to be related to Tuesday’s primary election, The New York Times reports.

According to police, Richard Ojeda, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, was lured away from a campaign barbecue to apply a bumper sticker to a truck when witnesses say Jonathan Stuart Porter began striking him with brass knuckles. From NBC News:

Ojeda, who said he has known Porter since they were kids, placed one on the rear bumper of Porter’s truck. Then Porter asked for a second one on the vehicle’s front grill.

“That’s all I remember,” Ojeda said. “When I woke up, my head was on a tree stump covered in blood. Everyone was looking at me.”

Ojeda suffered eight bone fractures and three lacerations to his face, as well as exterior swelling to his head, he said.

In a statement, Ojeda’s primary opponent, fellow Democrat Arthur Kirkendoll, immediately denounced the attack, saying there was “no place” for violence in political campaigns.

On Monday morning, Ojeda promised from his hospital bed he was still committed to the race, saying, “If you thought this would shut me up you are mistaken.”

“I haven’t spoken to that Jonathan idiot in years which tells me that there was more to this,” wrote Ojeda on Facebook. “I have been threatened before but I never really knew it would come to this. I have dealt with the Taliban and Al Qaeda......I am not scared of those of you who think you can intimidate me.”

Porter, who surrendered to police Sunday evening, now faces felony charges, including malicious assault and destruction of property.