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 TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' 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.
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 GarrettInternal poll shows tight race in Virginia House race Internal poll shows neck-and-neck race brewing in Virginia House contest GOP congressman loses primary after officiating gay wedding 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 ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE and her running mate, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineFill the Eastern District of Virginia Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' 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."