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Army Veteran to Challenge Mark Warner in November

Daniel Gade speaks to a supporter
Republican Daniel Gade speaks to a supporter

Republican voters in Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary chose Army veteran Daniel Gade to take on Senator Mark Warner this November.

Republicans overwhelmingly chose Gade, a two-time Purple Heart recipient and first-time politician, over two opponents.

The most suspenseful race last night may have been in the Fifth Congressional District, which includes stretches from southern Virginia through Charlottesville and Lynchburg up through parts of Northern Virginia.

Democrats there chose Cameron Webb, an African American doctor and director of Health Policy at UVA’s School of Medicine, to take on Republican Bob Good. Like Webb, Good is also a newcomer to state politics, having beat Congressman Denver Riggleman in a bitter nominating convention earlier this month.

Webb served as a White House Fellow from 2016-17 and has advocated creating a public health insurance option. Good is a former Liberty University athletics director who challenged Riggleman after the congressman officiated a same-sex wedding.

Virginia Democrats see the seat as their best prospect for flipping this November, though the district has voted for Republican candidates in every race since 2008. Webb has raised almost four times as much money  as Good.

In the Richmond area, Rep. Donald McEachin coasted to an easy win in a primary with a relatively unknown opponent, Cazel Levine. The Fourth Congressional District has voted overwhelmingly Democratic over the past decade.

Former Rep. Scott Taylor defeated two GOP opponents in a bid to reclaim his old Hampton Roads-area seat in the Second Congressional District. He lost his post to Democrat Elaine Luria in 2018.

Election officials reported a mostly sleepy primary day, with at least 92,000 voters as of Monday heeding calls to vote by mail.

The ACLU of Virginia and the League of Women Voters successfully sued the state to allow absentee voters to cast their votes without a witness signature.

The election lacked much drama in a state that has increasingly turned blue. No big-name Republicans lined up to take on Warner, who narrowly won his seat in 2014 but had $8.7 million in cash on hand as of June 3.

Still, Gade has cast himself as a backer of President Donald Trump with moderate appeal; he said he will prioritize passing legislation on more bipartisan issues like Congressional stock trading and presidential war powers if elected.

Gade said despite Warner’s cash advantage and widespread predictions of an easy general election victory, the senior senator and former governor doesn’t have big achievements he can point to during the campaign.

“The only time he leaves Northern Virginia is in campaign season, so people see him once every six years,” Gade said. “He’s not invulnerable, he’s not perfect.”

Warner has challenged Gade to three debates this year ahead of the November vote.

Results from the Tuesday primary are available here.

Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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