Virginia GOP nominates Navy vet Hung Cao to challenge Rep. Jennifer Wexton

The Virginia Republican Party has nominated retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao to face off against two-term Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton in the Commonwealth’s 10th Congressional District this November.

Northern Virginia GOP voters chose from a slate of 11 candidates using the ranked-choice voting method, and ballot counting lasted late into Saturday evening. Mr. Cao led each round before winning the majority of votes over his closest opponent, Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

“Congratulations to Hung Cao on winning the Republican nomination,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement. “Jennifer Wexton supports Democrats’ failed agenda that is shrinking parental rights, fueling inflation, and letting violent crime run rampant. Virginians will fire Wexton in November and elect Hung Cao.” 

The 10th District, redrawn during redistricting, leans Democratic. But according to numbers gleaned from the Virginia Public Access Project, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin picked up 49% of the vote in the district during his successful gubernatorial run last year.

Mr. Cao is a Vietnamese refugee and immigrant to the U.S., according to his biography on his campaign website. As a child, his family escaped Vietnam in 1975 shortly before the fall of Saigon. Following a brief stay in the U.S., they relocated to West Africa, where he was educated in French schools before returning to Annandale, Virginia, in 1982.

Following his graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and upon graduation served as a deep-sea diver and explosive ordnance disposal officer.

As a Navy Diver, Mr. Cao deployed in combat to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, and served alongside Special Forces and SEAL Teams during his 25 years of service in the Navy.

Mr. Cao is among a slate of “On the Radar” GOP House candidates that are part of the NRCC’s Young Guns program. The program, spearheaded by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, seeks to better prepare Republican candidates across the country to wage successful campaigns.

Mr. Cao is among three Virginia Republicans whom the state committee nominated Saturday to run for the House.

Rep. Bob Good, a first-term lawmaker, easily won renomination to represent the 5th Congressional District. In the 8th Congressional District, a Northern Virginia seat held by longtime Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, Ukrainian immigrant Karina Lipsman won the party’s nomination for the heavily Democratic district. 

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