Combat veteran candidates have joined forces in Virginia, with Hung Cao endorsing Derrick Anderson, a former Green Beret commander who served six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, for Congress. Cao has come out in support of Anderson's bid to challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) in Virginia's Seventh District.
“It's not the time for bureaucrats and politicians in Congress,” Cao declared in a statement on Thursday. “It's time for warriors like Derrick Anderson who will continue to fight for our constitution. I'll be proud to stand beside him in Congress.”
Cao, who was also a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan, won the Republican “firehouse primary” in Virginia's Tenth District this past weekend, confirming his run in the race against Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA). The Tenth District and two other districts in Virginia picked their candidates on Saturday, but a number of other districts, including the Seventh District, will select their candidates using the state-wide primary process.
Anderson is the frontrunner in a close Republican primary, with several other contenders in the race. Anderson will be competing to win the Seventh District Republican primary on June 21.
In reaction to Cao's endorsement, Anderson announced, “Hung Cao ran an outstanding race in VA-10, and I am honored to have him in my corner in the final weeks of my primary… We must flip the House and fire Nancy Pelosi to get our country back on track. I am the strongest candidate in the 7th district primary and am prepared to beat Abigail Spanberger (D-VA). Thank you to my combat veteran brother, Hung Cao, for your support.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the primary campaign arm of House Republicans, is targeting both Wexton’s and Spanberger’s seats as possible opportunities for pickups as Republicans are seeking to take back majority control of the House next November.
Spanperger’s district changed dramatically in the last redistricting cycle and does not include the Richmond suburbs in which Spanberger lives. The new district covers portions of Prince William County, Stafford County, and Spotsylvania County—which is Anderson's hometown and considered to be an open vote by Cook Political Report. Republicans see Spanberger's seat as an ideal opportunity to pick up more seats. The Democrats are giving Spanberger funds to safeguard her incumbency.
Defeating the reelection of Jennifer Wexton will be more of an uphill fight. The Tenth District is situated in the blue region of Northern Virginia; however, it changed slightly to Republican areas in this year's redistricting procedure.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) lost the redrawn district only by 1.6 percent, as per a Virginia Public Access Project estimate. The narrow margin suggests that Republicans are likely to win the district, particularly since it is comprised of Loudoun County, which came to be referred to in 2021 as “ground zero” in the debate over education, transgender policies, critical race theory, and children using masks.
“Our prospects for reclaiming the Tenth Congressional District and Virginia from Jennifer Wexton and the Democrats are very good,” the Tenth District Republican Party’s chairman, Geary Higgins, told News in reference to education issues.
NRCC Chair Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) expressed his confidence regarding the possibility of reversing the district in an announcement following Cao's primary victory. “Jennifer Wexton supports Democrats' failed agenda that is shrinking parental rights, fueling inflation, and letting violent crime run rampant. Virginians will fire Wexton in November and elect Hung Cao.”