Ex-GOP senator endorses Democrat in Virginia House race

Ex-GOP senator endorses Democrat in Virginia House race
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Former Republican Sen. John Warner (Va.) is endorsing Democratic House candidate Leslie Cockburn in her bid to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I’m still a Republican,” Warner said on Saturday before a fundraiser west of Washington, D.C., according to the Fauquier Times. “You can’t take that away from me. But you’ve got to have the courage to do what’s right for the country and what’s right for your state.”

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Cockburn, a former producer for "60 Minutes," is vying to replace Rep. Tom Garrett (R) in Virginia's 5th Congressional District. She is in a race against GOP candidate Denver Riggleman, whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE endorsed on Monday. 

Warner, who held a U.S. Senate seat from 1979 to 2009, called Cockburn “an exceptional candidate” and added that he agreed with her views on health care, education and “commonsense gun laws.”

“I know guns pretty well. And there’s things we’ve got locked in, they’re just wrong. I don’t know how we're going to break that one," Warner, who was U.S. secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974, said. 

The Fauquier Times notes that Warner has also extended his support to Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Trump expected to pitch immigration deal to end funding stalemate MORE's (D-Va.) bid for reelection against GOP nominee Corey Stewart.

He said his endorsement of the Democrat was rooted in his friendship with Kaine’s father-in-law, Linwood Holton. Holton served as governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974. 

The Cook Political Report rates the race between Cockburn and Riggleman as "lean Republican." 

The forecaster rates Kaine's seat as "solid Democratic."