A professor in the School of Public Affairs is running for a Virginia U.S. Senate seat in the 2020 election.
AU professor Daniel Gade is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, former White House veterans-affairs advocate and disability rights activist. He was wounded in combat twice and lost his right leg. After earning a Ph.D. in public policy and public administration from the University of Georgia, he taught political science at the United States Military Academy for several years before coming to AU in January.
“I am a career servant,” Gade said. “From the time I enlisted in the army at 17 years old, I’ve been a servant of the Constitution. I view service in politics, and particularly, in this case, service in the United States Senate, as an extension of my decades of service to the country.”
Since he launched his campaign in August, Gade raised funds at the same rate at his opponent Scott Taylor, who is considered the established Republican candidate.
His campaign is still in the early stages since the primary vote is not until June, but Gade said that he is now focusing on fundraising and garnering media attention. He released a campaign advertisement last month and was featured in news articles, blog posts and radio shows.
Gade said that he has not faced any backlash for his campaign yet.
“Reception has been uniformly positive,” he said. “People are really hungry for non-politician political servants. Voters are sick of our political class.”
Gade’s governing principles and the platform of his candidacy are to promote free-market systems, maintain a strong national defense, promote limited government and protect individual liberties and civil rights, according to his website.
“Getting government out of people’s lives allows them to thrive on their own terms,” he said. “That’s where societies thrive, because societies are an aggregation of political and economic choices.”
If he wins the Republican primary, Gade would face the Democratic two-term incumbent Mark Warner in the general election. The most recent data from the Cook Political Report said that the general election is likely to fall in favor of Warner.
When Gade is not performing his professorial duties or orchestrating his campaign, he enjoys biking and CrossFit. He is a father of three, including a 17-year-old daughter and two younger twin boys.
Gade says that, as a senator, he’d like to change the “divisiveness and nastiness” in today’s political climate.
“I’m willing to sit down and talk face to face, but there are some people in this political climate who are not willing to do that,” he said. “Politicians just see the R or the D, but don’t see the A for American. They need to focus on the A first.”