Marine Vet Launches Run for State Senate

Ashburn resident Kyle Green on Monday formally announced his plans to seek the Democratic nomination in the 13th District state Senate race next year.

Green, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, predicted a tough race.

“It’s going to be brutal,” Green said. In his statement, he wrote “I know this will be a tough race; my opponent is known to be unscrupulous. The truth is, sometimes it takes a Marine to retire a Marine.”

He is seeking the seat held since 2011 by Republican Dick Black, another military veteran who served as a Marine pilot during the Vietnam War and later as a U.S. Army JAG officer.

Green said he would run on a progressive Democratic platform that includes refusing money from corporate PACs, supporting school funding, enacting gun safety legislation, protecting the environment, adopting comprehensive criminal justice reform, and raising the minimum wage. He said topics like gun control will be important in the race—his opponent being a vocal gun rights advocate—and while many issues in the senate are statewide, some have a particular impact in the 13th District.

“Raising the minimum wage is a conversation that—while, granted, it has implications all over the commonwealth—is going to be particularly important here,” Green said. “One of the most difficult conversations is the affordable housing, the ability for our workforce in Loudoun and Prince William to actually live in the county in which they work.”

The 13th Senate District covers the western half of Loudoun County and a portion of Prince William County. In 2011, Black, who had served in the House of Delegates since 1998, handily won the set over Democrat Shawn Mitchell. His 2015 re-election victory was narrower, as Democrat Jill McCabe came within 2,354 votes of a victory. Green points out that the district has continued to turn blue, with the majority of voters backing Democrats Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race and Gov. Ralph Northam in 2017.

Black is known for stirring controversy as a champion of socially conservative issues, especially his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Green, like many of Black’s challengers over the past two decades, said the incumbent is out of step with the view of his constituents.

Green, who has never run for office, said he decided to run because “the progressive values that I hold—the progressive values that the 13th holds—are under attack.”

“It was one thing to have a system where in a civil political society we were making slow and steady progress, but now, what we would have up until a few weeks ago considered basic fundamental rights, are now under attack,” Green said. He pointed in particular to the nomination of conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If that nominations goes through, he said, it will be up to the states to protect LGBTQ and abortion rights.

And he said the 13th District has changed during Black’s tenure.

“The 13th has the largest shift in population of any state senate district in the commonwealth,” Green said. “And I do think that that shift in population has changed not just the demographics, but the political alignment.”

Green, who works for a federal contractor, moved to the district in 2005. He has volunteered with the Purcellville Rescue Squad and served as president of the Schar School Alumni Chapter at George Mason University.

This article was updated  Aug. 6 at 4 p.m. following an interview with Kyle Green.

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