Failed Republican House Candidate Cao Launches Bid for U.S. Senate

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va, left, and Republican challenger Hung Cao participate in a debate, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Leesburg, Va. They are running to represent Virginia's 10th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

By Carolyn Fiddler

July 18, 2023

Northern Virginia nonprofit leader and failed Republican candidate for VA-10 is announcing his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in 2024.

On Tuesday, Hung Cao filed paperwork, launched his campaign website, and officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2024.

Cao, who lost to Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th congressional district just last year, joins an already crowded field vying for the GOP Senate nomination; at least five other Republicans are reportedly already running, although some sources put that number at nine.

If Cao wins the nomination, he’ll take on Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Cao, a retired U.S. Navy captain, says his campaign will focus on issues like public safety, the economy, border security, and family rights.

“Virginia deserves people that believe in the same values they do of God, family, and country,” he told a northern Virginia news station on Tuesday.

Democratic Party of Virginia chair Susan Swecker responded to Cao’s candidacy soon after it was announced: “I can assure you he’s too extreme for the U.S. Senate … Fortunately, Virginians already have a popular incumbent with an extensive record of protecting our economy, schools, democracy, health care, and reproductive freedom: Senator Tim Kaine.”

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood's chief political correspondent. She is also the nation’s foremost expert in state politics with almost two decades of experience in statehouse machinations, and her comic book collection is probably bigger than yours.

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