Virginia Republicans have picked Daniel Gade to be their nominee and face off against U.S. Sen. Mark Warner for a Senate seat later this year.
Gade won a low-key primary June 23 against two other opponents — teacher Alissa Baldwin and Army veteran and intelligence officer Thomas Speciale.
Once a hotly contested swing state where Senate elections were decided by small margins, Virginia has swung solidly blue in recent years. Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in more than a decade.
Gade is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was seriously injured in Iraq in 2005, losing a leg after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb, according to The Associated Press. He advised President George W. Bush on military and disability issues and was President Donald Trump’s appointee to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but withdrew his nomination after a lengthy delay in the Senate over his confirmation. Gade previously taught at West Point and now teaches at American University.
If elected, Gade pledged not to be a “rubber stamp” for the president but said Trump is “good on the policies that I care about,” including religious liberty, The AP reported.
His top priorities include limited government, promoting free market systems, having a strong national defense and promoting individual liberty. He is against additional gun control and opposes red flag laws and bans on assault weapons and suppressors.
Warner, a Democrat, barely won re-election to his second term six years ago against former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, but no experienced Republicans wanted to take Warner on this time around. Warner has represented Virginia in the Senate since 2009.
Bennett Crow, who was campaigning for Gade outside Christ Episcopal Church in Winchester, said “strong support for the Second Amendment” and cutting taxes are what he’s seeking in a nominee. But he said he would support whoever won the nomination. “It’s important to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate,” Crow said.
Jean Moyer, who voted for Gade at Christ Episcopal Church, said she liked that he is a veteran.
“Mr. Gade served our country,” Moyer said. “He sacrificed a lot.”
The general election is Nov. 3.