Virginia’s Daniel Gade Could Help Bring His State’s Republican Party Back to Relevance

Republican Senate nominee Daniel Gade isn’t likely to defeat incumbent Sen. Mark R. Warner Nov. 3. The independent data don’t show it, and the Virginia GOP’s advanced decay confirms it.

Despite this, Gade’s determination to challenge a few of the Virginia GOP’s bizarre articles of faith deserves support and may point the way forward for those Republicans who would rather not spend a generation in the political wilderness.

In their Oct. 3 debate at Norfolk State University, Gade did something unusual for a Republican. He publicly criticized President Trump for a “badly fumbled” response to a question on white supremacy:

“If you are a white supremacist and you are watching — I don’t want your vote. I don’t want your money, and shame on your attitudes and disrespect. Now, the president badly fumbled that question.”

Right on both points. And the Trump criticism? That immediately set Gade apart from the Virginia GOP pack.

Gade also had a kind word to say about the Black Lives Matter movement, which put even further distance between him and his Republican brethren. This makes Gade a heretic in some GOP circles. Remember: A cabal of 5th District Republicans tossed incumbent Rep. Denver Riggleman aside because Riggleman dared officiate at the wedding of two men. That move put GOP control of the district at risk.

Gade urged his fellow Republicans to join him in support of the movement’s social justice aims and agreed with Warner that “violent actors within protests should be prosecuted.”

Gade said he supported an array of criminal justice reforms, including changes to qualified immunity. He’s been consistent on that issue, telling Richmond’s WRIC TV back in July that qualified immunity “sometimes let’s bad cops off with, you know, on a technicality kind of, created by the courts years ago.”

That not only sets Gade apart from Republicans in the General Assembly, whose authoritarian streak runs very deep, but it also puts him out front of a number of Democrats.

But there’s a big difference between distancing yourself from the pack and making wild accusations about people who aren’t on the ballot.

That latter occurred when Gade took a big swing at Warner’s long-ago role in putting Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo on the bench. Readers may recall Cavedo initially blocked Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) effort to remove the Robert E. Lee Statue from Richmond’s Monument Avenue back in June.

Cavedo recused himself from the case in July after admitting he lived in the Monument Avenue Historic District that includes the Lee statue. In August, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned Cavedo’s order.

Continue reading at The Washington Post.

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