It’s for real. Culpeper County resident Tina Freitas is running for the 24th District Virginia Senate seat held for two decades by Emmett Hanger, R–Mount Solon.
Freitas, the 40-year-old wife of GOP state Del. Nick Freitas, announced her candidacy Saturday at rallies in Madison County and Augusta County.
Republican radio host John Fredericks, who chaired President Trump’s 2016 Virginia campaign, has already dubbed them a “power couple.” If she is elected, they may become the first husband-wife duo to serve concurrently in the General Assembly.
A two-term delegate, Nick Freitas competed in last year’s GOP primary for U.S. Senate, losing narrowly to nominee Corey Stewart, who lost by a wide margin against incumbent Tim Kaine, a Democrat and former governor.
Saturday morning at Prince Michel Winery near Leon, the delegate introduced his high-school sweetheart, praising her “innate sense of justice” and record of helping others.
Freitas said he has told fellow legislators about the response to the potential candidacy of his partner of nearly 20 years.
“Everyone loves her. There are people showing up to support her that never would have supported me,” he said. “All of a sudden, the cool Freitas is running for office.”
How has the left side of the political spectrum responded? “Dear God, there’s two of them,” he joked.
Taking the microphone, Tina Freitas said she is jumping into the fray for the sake of her children’s future.
“I cannot stand by and watch them grow up in a country that no longer values the things that we fought for as a family. I couldn’t go to war with you the last time, Nick,” she said, her voice breaking. “But I can this time.”
Her husband served in the Army, including two tours of Iraq.
Smiling, Tina Freitas called Hanger “a nice man,” and said she doesn’t desire to drive him out of office.
“My hope is that he will see that it is time for the next generation to step up and defend our district,” she said.
Freitas acknowledged that she’s new to seeking state office.
“I am not as polished a candidate as the political elite would probably prefer,” she said. “But let’s face it. Richmond and Washington, D.C., are full of polish. What they lack is substance and conviction ... and the courage to uphold it.”
Freitas has volunteered on many campaigns, written commentary for different news outlets, and served as vice president of the Culpeper Republican Committee and president of the county’s GOP women’s group.
“I’ve been asked if I’m scared to run—to be exposed to that hatred that is generally demonstrated by the press, by Hollywood and the left for every conservative woman who has ever dared to deviate from the left’s talking points. To speak up for what we really believe and know to be true.
“To be perfectly candid with you, it can be intimidating. But I refuse to cower and let fear dictate my actions.”
She said she intends to project Christian truths on the campaign trail and then in Richmond “as your next senator.”
“I believe that victory is within reach,” Freitas said. “But we will have to fight for it as if our lives depend on it. Because, as the left has shown us lately, many innocent lives do depend on it. I believe our children are worth fighting for.”
The Freitases have three children—Lilly, 16, Ally, 11, and Luke, 13—all of whom attended the announcement in Madison.