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Special forces veteran gets major endorsement from GOP House leader in bid to flip Virginia seat

Former U.S. Army Green Beret Derrick Anderson is running to flip Virginia's competitive 7th Congressional District from Democrat to Republican.

FIRST ON FOX: Former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and combat veteran Derrick Anderson has landed another endorsement from a member of House leadership in the battle to flip one swing state’s House seat for the Republicans.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., announced Thursday that he will back Anderson's bid to represent Virginia's 7th Congressional District. The district — currently held by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. — is one of the GOP's top 2024 targets to try and strengthen the party's narrow majority in the House.

"Derrick Anderson is the conservative choice to represent the people of Virginia's 7th Congressional District – the district he was raised in," Scalise said in a statement. "Derrick has served our great country admirably as a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and I'm looking forward to seeing him continue that service in Congress."

Scalise added that Anderson will help "bring common sense back to America" through securing the U.S. border, supporting veterans, supporting Israel and lowering costs for the working and middle class.

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Anderson, who launched his campaign in September, saidin a statement that he has a "deep respect" for Scalise’s "incredible perseverance in the face of great adversity."

"His conservative values are clear and his focus on fighting for forgotten Americans is admirable," Anderson said. "I look forward to working with him to address skyrocketing crime, our dangerous open border, and runaway inflation in Congress."

Earlier this month, Anderson got the support of Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who currently serves as the House majority whip. Other House leaders who are supporting Anderson include House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa., who serves as chair of the House Committee on Agriculture.

Outside of House GOP leadership, Anderson picked up endorsements from several other veterans currently serving in Congress, including, among others, Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., a former Navy SEAL; Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., an Army veteran; Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., a former Green Beret; Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a former Army Ranger; Rep. Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, a former Air Force officer; Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, a former Navy captain; and Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., a former helicopter pilot for the U.S. Navy.

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Anderson, who served in the Army from 2006 to 2016 and deployed on six tours of duty throughout the Middle East as part of the global War on Terror, launched his congressional campaign in September. He first ran for the seat in 2022 but narrowly lost the Republican primary to former congressional candidate Yesli Vega.

Spanberger, a former CIA operative, went on to defeat Vega in the general election by just under 5%, securing her third term. In November, Spanberger announced she would not be seeking re-election to her post and would instead make a run for governor of the state.

Anderson is one of nine candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the district.

Republicans currently hold a slim three-seat majority in the House of Representatives and are hoping to build on that next year, partly by capitalizing on the unpopularity of President Biden. The party gained control of the chamber following the 2022 midterm elections but performed below expectations.

Fox News' Kyle Morris and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.

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