Ex-GOP Sen. Warner endorses Virginia Democrat over Dave Brat

Ex-GOP Sen. Warner endorses Virginia Democrat over Dave Brat
© Getty Images

Former Virginia GOP Sen. John Warner has endorsed Democrat Abigail Spanberger in her race against Republican incumbent Rep. Dave Brat, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Spanberger is a former CIA officer challenging Brat in Virginia’s 7th District. Brat is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and has received President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE’s endorsement.

"It goes beyond politics now. I’m a Republican, I’ll finish a Republican as I cruise through my 91st year. But you’ve got to put the nation’s interests and the state’s interests ahead of politics," Warner told NBC News.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, Warner said Spanberger “brings a strong understanding of the complex world beyond our nation’s shores and how that impacts the economy and jobs right here in central Virginia.”

Spanberger thanked Warner for his endorsement in a statement.

"Although we have some differences of opinion, we both hold true our commitment to our country and Virginia,” she said.

Brat received Trump’s endorsement in October as he seeks reelection in his toughest race since entering the House in 2014. He won reelection in 2016 by a 15-point margin.

A poll from Christopher Newport University from last month showed Spanberger with a 1-point lead over Brat.

Warner served as Virginia’s Senator for 30 years and has now endorsed two Democrats in close House races in Virginia. He also endorsed Leslie Cockburn in her bid against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom GarrettThomas (Tom) Alexander GarrettFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Ethics investigation finds outgoing House Republican made staff unload groceries, dog-sit Trump signs bill naming post office after soldier whose parents he attacked MORE.

"Once you’re retired and doing what you want to do, you’re free of any constraints," Warner told NBC. "I just feel that the Democrats have got superior credentials to what is being offered."

Warner also endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE and her running mate, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineWhy do so many Democrats embrace hate speech? Dem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration MORE (D-Va.), in the 2016 presidential election against Trump, who lost Virginia by 5 points in the election.

"He has no inner compass at all," Warner said of Trump. "He’s put a tremendous divide in this country."