ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Spend enough time with Daniel Gade and he’ll make one thing very clear: service has been a constant in his life.
“People are hungry for the opportunity to have somebody who’s a servant rather than somebody who sees themselves as a master or a career politician,” he said during a recent interview.
Gade enlisted in the army when he was 17, and was injured in combat multiple times, at one point losing his right leg. That experience led to time in the Bush administration, focused on veterans affairs. He’s also been a professor, teaching political science, first at West Point, then American University.
Now, he’s set his sights on the United States Senate, aiming to become the first Republican elected to that post in nearly two decades.
“I’m qualified for the work. I’m excited about doing the work,” he said.
And the work Gade says is most pressing: COVID-19 relief. Gade has repeatedly criticized Senator Mark Warner for not supporting a $500 billion Republican relief effort in the Senate.
“He voted that down because his party told him to,” said Gade. “And now Virginia families are suffering because their Senator chose to vote no on something that’s common sense.”
On the healthcare front, Gade says he has no plans to gut the affordable care act, despite accusations from Sen. Mark Warner. The Act does need to be changed in Gade’s view, with provisions to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and allow insurance to be sold across state lines.
After a summer of sometimes violent protests demanding racial justice, Gade says he supports criminal justice reform and black lives matter – in theory.
“Because black lives do matter,” he said. “Now, the organization has some pretty serious problems and there’s some threats there. But the idea of black lives mattering, and of working for racial justice shouldn’t be something the Democrats own.”
With the Senate facing a battle around confirming President Trump’s latest Supreme Court pick, Gade believes that the Senate should always act swiftly on a President’s nominee – Democrat or Republican.
“Last time I checked, there’s no 3.9 years of a President’s term. There’s 4 years of a President’s term,” he said. “And so the president has the authority to nominate, and the Senate has the authority to take up the President’s nomination.”
The Republican contender says rural issues remain a focus – in particular, he believes the federal government should pursue nontraditional solutions to the broadband problem.
“There are a couple of innovative ways where we can do that without laying cables. Low earth orbit satellites. 5G. All of that,” he said.
Overall, Gade believes his resume has prepared him for this job, and he says he’s ready to be called to serve again on November 3rd.
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