Marine veteran Rob Jones, a Republican, announced Monday he is running for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democratic Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10th) holds the seat after being elected in November 2018.
In his campaign video, Jones said he is running for Congress in the 2020 cycle because it’s a “partisan warzone” and it empowers “political extremists on both sides.”
“Politicians like Jennifer Wexton are part of the problem,” Jones said in his announcement video. “They put political self-interest before the national interest—afraid of losing re-election—but I’d rather lose two legs than lose the country that we love because this isn’t about me, this is about us.”
Jones is a native of Loudoun County, growing up in Lovettsville and graduating from Loudoun Valley High School in 2003. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007.
During his junior year at Virginia Tech, Jones joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer stationed in Roanoke.
In 2008, he was deployed to Iraq, and he went to Afghanistan in 2010, where he was tasked with plotting safe routes through areas suspected of containing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to his campaign website. In Afghanistan he stepped on an IED in Taliban territory that resulted in double above-knee amputations. He was honorably discharged in 2011.
One of Jones' notable achievements was running 31 marathons in 31 days to raise money for charities supporting wounded warriors.
Jones also qualified for the 2012 Paralympic Games, bringing home a bronze medal in rowing.
Jones received the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Operation Enduring Freedom Campaign Medal and the Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal.
Jones lives in Middleburg with his wife Pam. They own a small vegetable farm.
Wexton became the first Democrat to represent Virginia's 10th Congressional District since 1980 by defeating Barbara Comstock by nearly 13 percentage points last November.