SPA professor wins Republican Virginia Senate primary

U.S. Army veteran and disability rights advocate hopes to unseat Democrat Mark Warner in general election

SPA professor wins Republican Virginia Senate primary

AU professor Daniel Gade in the School of Public Affairs is running for a Virginia U.S. Senate seat in the 2020 election.

Daniel Gade, a professorial lecturer in the School of Public Affairs’ Department of Public Administration and Policy, won the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Virginia on Tuesday. 

Gade, who faced two opponents in the primary, won with 67 percent of the vote as of Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections. He will go on to challenge Democratic incumbent Mark Warner in the general election in November, although Republicans have not won a statewide election in more than a decade. 

The state has trended blue following the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, the Associated Press reported. 

“Republicans have a real opportunity this year,” Gade said at his watch party in Northern Virginia, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We can win on the issues. We can win on issues that matter at kitchen tables in Virginia like health care, economic recovery and rights that are under attack from Virginia and Washington Democrats.”

A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Gade deployed to Iraq in 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was wounded twice in combat, causing his entire right leg to be amputated. Following his return to the United States, he earned a Ph.D. in public policy and public administration from the University of Georgia, taught political science at the United States Military Academy for several years and came to AU in January 2019, The Eagle previously reported. 

At AU, Gade teaches Complex Problems seminars and SPA’s Intro to Political Research course. He graduated from West Point in 1997, and is a disability rights activist and former White House Veterans Affairs advocate. 

In an email to The Eagle, AU spokesperson Natasha Abel said that Gade will continue teaching in the fall as scheduled. The University allows staff members to run for office, as long as they disclose the activity to the AU administration. 

“This is not the first time an AU professor has run for office,” she wrote. “For example, Jamie Raskin taught at the University during his campaign.” 

The Gade campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle

Would you like to support our work? Donate here to The Eagle Innovation Fund.