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.

Chris Perkins (above) has the support of Tom Davis is in the race for Davis’s old congressional seat. (Photo by Dayna Smith/for the Washington Post)

“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.