“If you want to protect your Second Amendment rights, now is the time to do it,” Virginia Republican Daniel Gade said in a get-out-the-vote video.
Gade is running an underdog campaign against a well-known, better-funded Democratic incumbent, Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Unlike Mark Warner, I actually know how to use a gun,” Gade, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who lost his leg to an IED in Iraq, said in the video.
He then turns down range and fires into a target.
Warner, a former governor and telecommunications executive, described himself as a gun owner and Second Amendment supporter. He voted against a 2013 bill seeking to ban assault-style weapons, but he publicly endorsed a similar ban in a Washington Post op-ed two years ago.
“Some may worry that the technical challenges of defining an assault weapon may result in a law that’s either toothless or overly restrictive of gun rights,” he wrote. “Frankly, I share those concerns, but it’s time to stop talking about the problem and do something about it.”
This Oct. 13 photo shows Democratic challenger Daniel Gade, preparing for a debate with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
Last year, he announced his support for a new ban on “military-style assault weapons” along with expanded background checks for gun buyers. Over the summer, he introduced a background check bill alongside fellow Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
The incumbent, who narrowly won reelection in 2014 by less than 1 percent of the vote, is considered a heavy favorite this time around.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner gestures during a rally in Richmond, Va., Oct. 31. Warner faces Republican Daniel Gade in the Nov. 3 election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Despite Warner’s 20 percent lead in a recent Christopher Newport University poll, up by 7 percent from a month earlier, Gade has described his effort as a “sleeper” campaign that he said will shock political forecasters.
On Monday night, he told Fox News that his campaign had 2-to-1 support from independent voters.
“Our internal polling is showing extremely positive signs, and there is an energy around our campaign that is very encouraging,” he said. “We aren’t basing our strategy on onside polls.”
And in the third quarter of 2020, Gade’s campaign outraised Warner’s for the first time.
Gade, whose middle name is MacArthur, after Gen. Douglas MacArthur, has served on several White House advisory committees for veterans and the disabled beginning under former President George W. Bush. He has a Ph.D. in public administration and became a university professor.