Army veteran to challenge GOP rep Comstock in swing district

 Army veteran to challenge GOP rep Comstock in swing district
© Greg Nash

Army veteran Daniel Helmer (D) on Tuesday launched a bid to unseat vulnerable Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) in 2018, according to the Washington Post.

Helmer, who is a Rhodes scholar, said that he’s already raised $120,000 for his bid and traversed the northern Virginia swing district on a tour of businesses.

“This election evidences a loss of trust between our people and our government and a desire for new leadership and fresh perspectives,” Helmer told the Post. “It’s important for America that we fix this.”

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Helmer was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and also served in Afghanistan. He moved to the district with his family in late 2013 after he was released from active duty.

The Army veteran is the second declared Democrat in the race. Kimberly Adams, president of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs, is also running.

Other Democrats considering taking on Comstock are state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, former Obama administration staffer Lindsey Davis Stover and Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Comstock is a top Democratic target in 2018. The Virginia Republican defeated her Democratic opponent by nearly 6 points last year.

Helmer, 35, wasn’t the only veteran to announce a House bid on Tuesday. Three other Democratic veterans are challenging vulnerable Republican incumbents.

Retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner (D) launched his campaign to unseat embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who is under a criminal investigation for an alleged campaign finance violation.

Air Force veteran and business executive Chrissy Houlahan (D) announced she is running against Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.).

And former Army Ranger Jason Crow (D) launched a bid against Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).