Progressive veterans group VoteVets on Thursday endorsed former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in the state's gubernatorial election.
"As the son of an Army veteran and the dad of a Marine, Terry McAuliffe knows what it means to be in a military family, what challenges they face, and the sacrifices they make," said retired Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell Progressive veterans group endorses McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race Should reporters Woodward, Costa have sat on Milley-Trump bombshell for months? MORE, a senior adviser to the group.
Vindman, who retired last year and testified against former President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE during his first impeachment, went on to say a vote for Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin amounted to a vote for "Trumpism."
"I have seen Trumpism up close, and I have seen how its aim is to systematically destroy the very fabric of the republic. Glenn Youngkin is Donald Trump's agent in Virginia — period," Vindman said. "A vote for Youngkin is a vote for Trump, and a vote for Youngkin is a vote to ensure that Donald Trump gets Virginia's electoral votes in 2024. We must protect our republic and our right to our vote. We must elect Terry McAuliffe."
Vindman's remarks reflect McAuliffe's strategy of tying Youngkin to Trump, who lost Virginia in the 2016 and 2020 presidential contests.
Virginia is home to more than 100,000 U.S. military service members and the largest naval station in the world in Norfolk, making the military vote key.
McAuliffe's campaign announced in July that the former governor was endorsed by more than 150 veterans and military family members. Youngkin has also touted support from the veterans' community, launching the Veterans for Youngkin coalition and rolling out a plan to support veterans in July.
The two candidates are locked in a tight race, with most polls showing McAuliffe slightly leading Youngkin but well within the margin of error. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race as a "toss-up."