Republican US Senate candidate in Virginia ‘honored’ to receive Trump endorsement

Retired Navy captain Hung Cao participates in a debate on Oct. 20, 2022, in Leesburg, Va. Cao announced plans Tuesday, July 18, 2023 to seek the 2024 Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat, File)(AP/Matthew Barakat)

Hung Cao, one of the Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in Virginia, is being enthusiastically supported by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

On social media, former President Trump said that “Hung Cao has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

“Hung Cao will be a tireless fighter to stop Inflation, grow our Economy, secure our Border, strongly support our Incredible Military/Vets and defend out always under siege Second Amendment,” Trump said.

Trump also mentioned Cao publicly during remarks at the Libertarian Party’s national convention in D.C. on Saturday, saying that Cao “is going to win.”

Cao responded on social media, saying that he is “honored to receive an endorsement from the 45th and 47th President of the United States Donald Trump!”

The primary in Virginia is set for June 18.

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Cao is one of five Republicans running for the chance to face Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.

Kaine is unopposed on the Democratic side in the primary.

A fixture in Virginia politics, Kaine announced his plans to seek a third term after some speculation he might retire.

His decision to run eased his party’s worries about the possibility of an open seat. He will be seen as having an edge in the must-win race for Democrats facing a tough Senate map in 2024.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016, has been in public office for nearly three decades, serving as Richmond’s mayor and later as the state’s lieutenant governor and governor.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2012 and handily defeated a far-right challenger in 2018.

Cao is a Vietnamese immigrant who spent 25 years in the Navy, including service in combat zones around the world. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in 2022 in an effort to defeat Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton.

On the Republican side, Cao is facing business owner and Army veteran Eddie Garcia, attorney Jonathan Emord, attorney Chuck Smith and Scott Parkinson, who is a vice president of the conservative advocacy group “Club for Growth.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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