Thomas Speciale, a U.S. Army reservist from Woodbridge, has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, joining an already crowded field of Republican primary candidates aiming to take down current U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat.
Virginia hasn’t had a Republican U.S. Senator since John Warner retired in 2009. The last Republican to run for one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats was Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, who lost to Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in 2018 by 16 points.
There are now six Republicans vying to run against Warner in 2020, including former U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, who lost his 2nd Congressional District seat to Democrat Elaine Luria in 2018.
In a statement announcing his candidacy, Speciale outlined his reasons for joining the race.
“I’m running for the United States Senate because I’m angry. I’m angry because the Democratic party has worked for 50 years to destroy our country from the inside. I swore an oath to defend all Americans all the way back in 1987. This is the fight we are in. I’m not just fighting for the Republicans or the conservatives. I’m getting in the fight for all Virginians,” Speciale said.
“I am fighting for all Americans. The constitution doesn’t make a distinction – liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, black or white or brown, gay or straight, rich or poor. Neither do I, I never have. I’m fighting to get back our American dream, a dream the Democrats are working to destroy.”
Speciale, 50, who resides in Woodbridge with his wife and children, has served in the military for three decades in the Army Reserves as an intelligence officer. He has never before run for public office.
In his announcement, Speciale called the last three Republican candidates for top-level statewide office “career politicians who had run for political office for decades.”
“All three lost,” he said.
Outside of the military Speciale has worked as a media relations manager for a nonprofit, and as facility operations manager for IBM. He has also owned rental properties. He also owns and operates a small firearms safety group called “Responsible Firearms Owners of America.”
The five current Republican candidates for U.S. Senate are: Gary Adkins, Alissa Baldwin, Daniel Gade, Taylor and Victor Williams.
The primary is scheduled for June 9, 2020. The general election will take place Nov. 3, 2020.