Former congressman Thomas M Davis III is wading into the contested Republican primary for his old seat, backing retired Army Col. Chris Perkins as the best bet to take on Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) in November.
Perkins faces traffic engineer Ken Vaughn in the June 12 primary for
the Fairfax-based 11th district, which Davis held from 1995 to 2008. In a statement scheduled for release Tuesday, Davis says Perkins “is exactly the kind of leader we need in public office today.”
“In addition to the national security experience gained from his long service in defense of our nation, Perkins brings a common-sense approach to politics that has been missing on Capitol Hill for too long,” Davis says.
Perkins has been seen as the preferred candidate of national and Virginia Republicans over Vaughn, who is active in the local tea party movement. Both Republicans have struggled to raise money. As of March 31, Perkins had $85,000 on hand and Vaughn had $34,000, while Connolly sat on a war chest of more than $1 million.
Few strategists in either party have paid close attention to the primary because the state’s new redistricting map made the district safer for Connolly and Democrats. While the moderate Davis managed to hold the seat for the GOP for seven terms and Connolly nearly lost to businessman Keith Fimian (R) in 2010, the district is now seen as unlikely to be competitive in November regardless of the nominee.