Trump makes endorsement in race to unseat top Democratic senator

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Former President Donald Trump weighed in with his important endorsement in the crowded Virginia Republican Senate race, giving the nod to retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao.

“A Combat Veteran and Highly Decorated Special Operations Officer, Hung Cao will be a tireless fighter to stop inflation, grow our Economy, secure our Border, strong support our incredible Military/Vets, and defend our always under siege Second Amendment,” Trump said on own social media platform, Truth Social, on Sunday. “Hung Cao has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

Cao is one of five Republicans vying to take out incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., in Virginia, a solidly Democratic state that elected Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2021.

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The Navy veteran’s most formidable opposition in the race is likely Club for Growth Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Parkinson, according to a report from the Washington Post, which noted the former adviser to Florida Gov. and former Trump primary rival Ron DeSantis has raised the second most money among GOP contenders so far.

Rounding out the field of Republicans is attorney and author Jonathan Emord, lawyer Chuck Smith and business owner Eddie Garcia.

Cao, who in 2022 ran an unsuccessful campaign in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, has far outpaced his rivals in fundraising so far, bringing over $2 million, more than double the $841,000 raised by Parkinson.

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Despite Cao’s impressive fundraising haul, the Republican challenger stands far behind the incumbent Kaine, who has raised $13 million since 2019. Kaine is also running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Complicating matters for Cao are significant political headwinds, with the Cook Political Report rating the seat a “Solid D,” signaling strength for the former Hillary Clinton running mate. Virginia was also won handily by President Biden, who beat Trump by 10 points in the 2020 presidential race in Virginia.

Cao, who came to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee at the age of four, said he is “honored” to receive the support of the former president as he looks to fend off his GOP rivals.

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“I’m honored to receive an endorsement from the 45th and 47th President of the United States Donald Trump!” Cao said in a statement on X.

Virginia is set to hold its Republican Senate primary on June 18.