Thirty-five-year-old U.S. Army veteran Dan Helmer announced this week that he will run against Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) for her seat representing the 10th District in the House of Representatives in 2018.
“I think this  election was a call to action, because there’s a break in trust between our government and our people,” Helmer said. “And there are seminal moments in history when we need to make sure that our sacred obligation between our government and our people remains in place, and that in order to meet that we need fresh perspective and new leadership.”
His decision to enter politics came after watching the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump with his wife and two sons.
“January 20, Karen, myself, Harris and Aaron watched the inauguration speech, and the dark vision of our country reflected in that speech is not the America I know,” Helmer said. “It doesn’t reflect the people that I’ve served with overseas. It doesn’t reflect the people that I see that know that this country is great.”
Helmer said the 10th District is characterized by its diverse population and many public servants.
“Our number one employer is the Fairfax County schools, our number two employer is the Department of Defense,” Helmer said. “These are people who are dedicated public servants, and they want to see government that works.”
That diversity and his military service, he said, would give him a starting place to reach across the aisle. He pointed out that 10th District voters supported both Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Congresswoman Comstock.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily that they agreed with the policies of our current congresswoman,” Helmer said. “I think it is that they recognize that there’s value in bringing lots of different ideas to the table, and I think that empowers you as a representative from the district to actually reach out and build bridges.”
Helmer lives in Fairfax County with his wife, Karen, and their two young sons. Helmer settled in Fairfax after 11 years of active duty Army service. He began his military career at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, won a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, among other awards. He is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Since 2013, Helmer has worked at the Boston Consulting Group, a strategy firm with more than 80 offices in 48 countries. There he has advised both private and federal clients, and led the firm’s veterans outreach initiative.