As part of a whirlwind campaign tour leading up to Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary, Del. Nick Freitas (R-30) held a rally near Leesburg on Saturday that drew several hundred supporters and featured an endorsement speech by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Freitas, an Army Green Beret combat veteran, is two-term delegate from Culpepper making his first run for statewide office. He faces Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart, who narrowly lost his bid for the party’s gubernatorial nomination last year; and E.W. Jackson, who most recently was the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, is making a second run for the Senate seat. The winner on Tuesday will challenge first-term incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine in November.
Both Freitas and Paul focused on themes of liberty in their remarks at the Beacon Hill Manorwedding and events venue.
“I am now here to support Nick Freitas not because he is economically conservatives or for lower taxes and balanced budgets, but because I think Nick Freitas understands that our main job, our main focus, our main interest is defending your liberty, every aspect of it,” Paul said.
Freitas said he sees an uprising by a new generation of Americans who fear they are on the cusps of losing something.
“It’s not just about tax policy It’s not just about regulatory reform. It’s not just about education reform. Those are all policy out workings of what we believe,” Freitas said. “But what we believe at its core—what we believe at its foundation—is that every human being has inherent worth, has inherent value and deserves to live free. That’s what we believe”
Early polls show that any of the three Republican candidates would face an uphill battle against Kaine in November. Virginia voted for Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump and last year Democrats swept the statewide offices.
Freitas warned against under rating his ability to take on the former governor and vice presidential nominee.
“Tim Kaine is expecting a candidate to show up. What he is going to meet is a movement,” Freitas said. “It’s not defined by age. It is not defined by gender. It is not defined by ethnicity. It is not defined by any of the groups that the Democratic Party, that the left would like to put us into. It’s defined by free people. That is the creed we live by. That is the creed that we fight for. And that is the creed that’s going to win on the 12th and in November.”