ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia’s choices for United States Senator this year will be a political veteran and a political newcomer.
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is hoping to win a third term in the Senate this November. His Republican challenger emerged Tuesday: Daniel Gade, an Army veteran and a professor at American University.
“I’m a new, fresh, outside perspective instead of the old, tired ways of Washington,” Gade told 10 News on Wednesday.
Warner was unavailable for comment, but Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan Swecker believes his political experience is an asset in the race.
“I truly think he has helped save democracy, not just in our country, but in the world, because he has such respect from all sides,” Swecker said.
Gade won 67% of the vote in the state’s Republican primary election Tuesday night. He has never held an elected office, but he believes his experience in the battlefield makes up for it.
“It’s clear from, frankly, looking at my body, as I’m on crutches with one leg, that I’m 100% committed to the Constitution and I’m unafraid to fight,” Gade said.
Both sides have confidence they will come out victorious in November.
“I’ve never seen Virginia Democrats more fired up then they are right now,” Swecker said, referring to the Democratic sweep of Virginia’s House and Senate last year. “We’ve shown the door to Corey Stewart, and we’re going to show him the door, too.”
“Explosions next to you, that’s intimidating, but what’s not intimidating is calling me names,” Gade said. “I’m trying to unite the party, and unite independents and Democrats going forward.”
Warner has previously stated he hoped to challenge the Republican nominee to at least three debates. Gade told 10 News he wants to accept Warner’s offer.