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Former President Donald Trump has endorsed retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao in the crowded Virginia Republican Senate race. Trump expressed his support for Cao on his social media platform, Truth Social, highlighting Cao’s military background and commitment to addressing key issues such as inflation, economic growth, border security, support for the military and veterans, and the defense of the Second Amendment. Cao is one of five Republicans competing to unseat incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, in a solidly Democratic state that saw the election of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2021.

One of Cao’s main competitors in the race is Scott Parkinson, Vice President of Government Affairs for Club for Growth, who has raised significant funds and has ties to former Trump primary rival Ron DeSantis. Other Republican candidates in the race include attorney and author Jonathan Emord, lawyer Chuck Smith, and business owner Eddie Garcia. Despite Cao’s impressive fundraising efforts, he still lags behind Sen. Kaine, who has raised $13 million since 2019 and is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. The Cook Political Report has rated the Senate seat as “Solid D,” indicating a strong Democratic advantage based on previous election results and political trends in Virginia.

Cao, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in 2022, has raised over $2 million in funds, which is more than double the amount raised by his closest GOP rival, Parkinson. However, Kaine’s substantial fundraising lead and the overall Democratic strength in Virginia pose significant challenges for Cao in the Senate race. The state was won decisively by President Biden in the 2020 election, which adds to the competitive landscape for Republicans seeking to unseat Democratic incumbents. Virginia is scheduled to hold its Republican Senate primary on June 18, where the candidates will compete for the opportunity to challenge Sen. Kaine in the general election.

As a Vietnamese refugee who came to the United States at a young age, Cao expressed his appreciation for Trump’s endorsement, describing it as an honor. With Trump’s backing, Cao aims to distinguish himself from his Republican rivals and gain support among voters in Virginia. The former president’s endorsement carries weight in conservative circles and could potentially boost Cao’s campaign in a state that has demonstrated a willingness to elect Republican candidates. Despite facing an uphill battle against Sen. Kaine and the Democratic Party’s strong presence in Virginia, Cao’s candidacy has garnered attention and interest from political observers as the Senate race unfolds.

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