Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb announced in an email Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president.
"I understand the odds, particularly in today's political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money," Webb said in the email.
"But our country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us," he added.
Despite being the first potential candidate to launch a presidential exploratory committee last November, Webb will likely be the last Democrat to challenge frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee have all announced 2016 campaigns in recent months.
Just four percent of Democrats chose Webb as their first choice candidate in a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month, putting him well behind Clinton and Sanders. Still, Webb edged out both O’Malley and Chafee.
Webb decided not to run for re-election in 2012 after serving one term in the Senate. He came into the Senate with an upset win fueled by his opposition to the Iraq war, and during his term focused on veterans issues and criminal justice reform.
Webb is a Vietnam veteran and assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the U.S. Navy. In his email announcing his run, Webb was critical of U.S. intervention overseas, writing, “The attack in Benghazi was inevitable in some form or another.”
While visiting early voting states in recent months, Webb has also championed economic fairness and lambasted the influence of money on the political process.
“I mean what I say, that if I make a promise I will keep it, and that outside my faith and my family, my greatest love will always be for this amazing country,” Webb wrote to his supporters.