By Brandon Martin
Virginia may have a new face in the race for the United States Senate this year.
Army veteran and professor Dr. Daniel Gade hopes to lead the GOP ticket this year and take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in the November election.
Gade served for 25 years in the U.S. Army, retired as a lieutenant colonel, and over his tenure he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
“I served in the U.S. Army for 25 years and have dedicated my life to serving the Constitution,” he said. “I view this race as an extension of my 25 years of military service. Virginia is ready for a career servant in the Senate rather than a career politician like Mark Warner.”
Gade’s unit of 150 soldiers was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was wounded by enemy fire twice, and he had his right leg amputated following his second combat
wounding. Over the next year, Gade spent his time in the hospital undergoing more than 40 surgeries.
“My time in combat was really hard,” he said. “I led hundreds of patrols and missions. I saw friends die and it cost my family and I greatly.”
The life-changing injury didn’t keep Gade down though. He found a new purpose in education.
“After I was wounded I stayed on active duty, earned my Ph.D. and went back to West Point to teach future leaders of America,” he said.
The Army veteran taught political science, economics, and leadership courses at the United States Military Academy (West Point) from 2011 until he retired from the Army in 2017. Gade currently works as a professor at American University in Washington, D.C.
Due to his degree in public administration and policy, Gade was chosen to serve in Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump’s administrations, working on veteran issues and military healthcare.
In addition, Gade served on the National Council on Disability and the Veteran’s Administration Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation.
“Now I have the same oath, but a new mission,” he said. “I am ready to get to Congress and get right to work for Virginia.”
Part of Gade’s drive to serve comes from values that he said were instilled by his mother.
“My mother instilled in my siblings and me to always do three things: love God, love your country and always do the right thing. The difference I am going to make in Washington is creating a culture of service and duty like my mother taught me. We need to get rid of the swamp creatures infesting the halls of Congress.”
Gade has already started his fight as well. Following news about some politicians attempting to economically profit from privileged information regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gade announced that his first act as a Senator would be to pass the Stop Insider Trading (SIT) Act.
Under the SIT Act, members of Congress will be required to place their investment portfolio into a blind trust upon taking the oath of office. Gade’s legislation will prohibit using information received from official duties for personal benefit.
“Using your official position for private gain, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, is an egregious abuse of public office,” Gade said in a press release. “Instead of walking straight out of that private briefing and working to find a solution against this pandemic, several U.S. Senators’ first call was to their stock brokers instead. This behavior is exactly what’s wrong with career politicians in the swamp and why I’m introducing the SIT Act as my first bill in the Senate.”
When crafting legislation, Gade said that every law has to pass a couple of tests.
“When I go to Washington, my support for legislation will have to hold up to two questions: is it in the Constitution and do we have the money for it?”
Gade said that his campaign will boil down to three main objectives.
“I am running to limit government, end business as usual in the swamp and get Washington working for the American public again,” he said.
When it comes to Southwest and Southside Virginia, Gade drew contrasts between himself and the incumbent.
“I know firsthand the hardships many are feeling,” he said. “Career politicians like Mark Warner focus on one part of the Commonwealth for votes while job losses soar, the opioid crisis escalates and families are torn apart. Let’s get government off the necks of Virginians and promote free-market solutions to the problems in that part of the state. There’s no reason in the world why people won’t love living, working, and raising children there, other than the poverty traps created by bad government policy and failed politicians.”
Gade lives in Mount Vernon, with his wife Wendy and three children.
Other nominees seeking the GOP nod to challenge incumbent democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner are Alissa Baldwin, and Thomas Speciale.