A retired U.S. Marine colonel and businessman announced Monday that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Rob Wittman in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District in 2022.
Stewart Navarre, of King George County, said he is running for the seat because he is frustrated with the bitter partisanship and dysfunction in Washington.
“It has caused our citizens and allies around the globe to doubt America’s place as the leader of the free world. I want people to believe in America and believe in what America stands for. I’m concerned about where we are headed, and that is why I’m running,” Navarre said in an April 5 press release.
The 1st District, as currently drawn, includes parts of 20 counties, including parts of Prince William and Fauquier. Prince William County voters make up more than 21% of the 1st District’s current electorate, the largest share of any county within its borders. The district will likely change before the 2022 election, however, as a result of the upcoming redistricting process.
Navarre served 30 years in the Marines before retiring in 2007. He was assigned to the special operations division within the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, led training of Iraqi security forces, supported the first democratic elections in Iraq and was the chief of staff for seven Marine bases domestically, according to his press release.
Navarre went on to work in private industry, including spending three years as managing director of project management at United States Commercial Real Estate Services and almost a decade as vice president of research at MYnd Analytics, a medical technology company.
There, Navarre said he led teams of doctors, researchers, patients and industry leaders in the study of technology focused on improving the prescription of behavioral health drugs in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other diagnoses.
“I think that given my background and broad experience in the military and private industry, I have the knowledge and skillset to make a difference and deliver real results for our district,” Navarre said.
Navarre retired in 2019 and now lives in King George County with his wife Yana Navarre.
Wittman was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a 2007 special election. He has won re-election seven times since then. Wittman has faced a Democratic challenger in every election. Wittman’s Democrat challengers have never received more than 45% of the vote in the district.
Most recently, Wittman defeated Democrat Qasim Rashid by 16 points in the 2020 general election.