2020 Virginia Senate Candidate Guide

Daniel Gade - Republican
Daniel Gade - Republican
Mark Warner - Democrat (Incumbent)
Mark Warner - Democrat (Incumbent)

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ABORTION – Legal or ban?

Daniel Gade – Ban. “I’m 100% pro-life. We need to protect children in the womb.” 

Mark Warner – Legal. Co-sponsored act guaranteeing “equal access to abortion, everywhere.”

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare?

Daniel Gade – No. Would keep parts of ACA, but with “free- market reforms, choice and competition,” no more government control. 

Mark Warner – Yes. Voted for the ACA. Voted against the American Health Care Act of 2017, which would have ended ACA.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Daniel Gade – No position found.

Mark Warner – Yes. Supports constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Introduced bipartisan bill against foreign election interference and for ad transparency.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Daniel Gade – No. “The environment is warming,” but it’s not clear how much is due to human activity. It’s part of “a long-term cycle.”

Mark Warner – Yes. “Facts behind climate change are undeniable.” “One of the largest threats to our health, economy, and national security.”

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases? Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Daniel Gade – No. “For the time being,” wants “best energy production mix,” with renewables, nuclear, and “natural gas, and oil, and coal.” Concerned about “crippling our own current economic conditions.”

Mark Warner – Yes. For “investing in new technologies that reduce harmful emissions.” Co-sponsored bill for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Wants carbon capture to use coal “more responsibly.”

COURTS – Support Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch nominations?

Daniel Gade – Yes. “We have TWO new conservative Supreme Court Justices.” See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Mark Warner – No. Voted no on Gorsuch and on Kavanaugh because of “past rulings, writings, and evasive answers.” See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?

Daniel Gade – Yes. After slow start, president’s response “has been really solid.” Blames China, which “brought our country to its knees.”

Mark Warner – No. “The president has completely failed to contain the virus.” Wants a more aggressive response.

COVID-19 ECONOMIC RESPONSE – Support administration’s economic response to coronavirus pandemic?

Daniel Gade – Yes. “President has been great” getting  “economy back to work.” Against normalizing overspending. Would have voted for CARES Act.

Mark Warner – No. Asked Treasury Dept. to give states more flexibility in distributing relief funds. Asked Trump for more help for working families.

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Daniel Gade – Yes. “Full school choice proponent.” Supreme Court allowing public funding for religious schools a “huge win for religious liberty.”

Mark Warner – No recent position found. Opposed publicly funded vouchers for private school tuition in 2001. 

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen regulations?

Daniel Gade – Loosen. “A huge fan of deregulation as much as possible.” “Deregulatory drive of the Trump administration has been great.”

Mark Warner – Tighten, mostly. Opposed repeal of Clean Power, emission guidelines. Policy changes must keep all sectors of economy viable.

FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Daniel Gade – Loosen. “Markets that are free of government interference … are engines of economic growth and prosperity for all.”

Mark Warner – Mixed. Voted for Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. Later introduced bill to loosen regulation on small banks and credit unions.

GAY RIGHTS – Support Equality Act protecting LGBTQ persons from discrimination based on sexual preference?

Daniel Gade – No. “The Equality Act forces churches … to accommodate people who are transgender. … Our religious freedom is under attack.”

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored Equality Act. “Always wrong to fire a person simply for being gay or transgender.”

GUN CONTROL – Enact more restrictive legislation on firearms?

Daniel Gade – No. It’s about individual liberty and “God-given rights to protect ourselves”— not guns. Concerned about “gun confiscation.” Red flag laws unconstitutional.

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored assault weapons ban. Introduced bill to enact gun violence protection measures, including red flag laws and closing background-check loopholes.

IMMIGRATION – Path to citizenship for “DACA” participants brought to the U.S. as children? Expand border walls?

Daniel Gade – No position found on DACA. Supports temporary guest worker program and “recruiting high-skilled workers from other countries.” Would limit humanitarian asylum.

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored bipartisan amendment offering path to citizenship for “DREAMers,” along with $25 billion for border wall funding. Opposed Trump diversion of funds for wall.

IRAN – Oppose military attacks on Iran without congressional approval?

Daniel Gade – Yes. Views specific Iran War Powers Act as an “attempt to embarrass Trump,” but supports idea of requiring congressional approval.

Mark Warner – Yes. Trump should have consulted Congress. Attack turned “anti-Iranian fervor into anti-American fervor.”

LABOR – Support “right-to-work” laws, stopping unions from mandating dues for workers they represent?

Daniel Gade – Yes. “Virginia, after 75 years, is about to destroy the right-to-work legislation and make it a forced unionized state.”

Mark Warner – Unclear. Has said wants to increase worker protections but no specific position found on Virginia attempt to repeal right-to-work. 

MARIJUANA – Decriminalize or legalize?

Daniel Gade – No position found.

Mark Warner – Legal for medical. Co-sponsored bill to allow banks to work with cannabis businesses. “Supports the use of medical marijuana when used appropriately.” Waiting to see experience of other states on recreational.

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise hourly minimum wage in Virginia above current $7.25?

Daniel Gade – Unclear. Raising federal minimum wage in Virginia to $15 would “destroy small businesses.”

Mark Warner – Yes. For raising minimum in Virginia. At $7.25, “You can’t feed a family on that rate.” Raise can be done “responsibly.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Can Planned Parenthood get public funding for non-abortion-related care?

Daniel Gade – No. “Planned Parenthood should not be government funded.”

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored Women’s Health Protection Act and voted against rescinding Planned Parenthood funding

POLICE RESTRICTIONSRestrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Daniel Gade – Yes on oversight. Says he cares about criminal justice reform “passionately,” with many “in jail who don’t need to be.” Says police unions may protect “bad apples.”

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored Justice in Policing Act “to hold law enforcement accountable …, improve transparency …, and reform police training and policies.”

TRUMP IMPEACHMENTSupported or opposed Trump impeachment and Senate’s calling witnesses?

Daniel Gade – Opposed impeachment. “About personal vendettas.”

Mark Warner – Supported. Voted to call witnesses and to convict Trump on both articles of impeachment.

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support payment subsidies or forgiveness on student loans?

Daniel Gade – No. Forgiveness is an “immoral transfer of risk from poor people to already privileged people.” No position found on payments.

Mark Warner – Yes. Co-sponsored bill to limit payments based on income and forgive debts after 20 or 30 years of payments.

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.