Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb has become the fifth Democrat to announce he is seeking the party's nomination for president.

"[Our] country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us," Webb said in a statement. "We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process."

Webb, 69, joins former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee in the 2016 contest.

"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 an apparent reference to front-runner Clinton.

"I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars — some estimates run as high as $2 billion — in direct and indirect financial support," he said.

Webb, who represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate for a single term beginning in 2007, is also a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He formed an exploratory committee last November, becoming the first Democrat this season to do so. Earlier this week, he said he would announce his plans "within the next few days."

Webb has made frequent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, where early votes will be cast in the primary.

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