Nick Freitas

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Nick Freitas
Nick Freitas1.png
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 30th district
Assumed office
January 13, 2016
Preceded byEd Scott
Personal details
Born (1979-08-29) August 29, 1979 (age 41)
Chico, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Tina Freitas
Children3
EducationHenley-Putnam University (BA)
WebsiteCampaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1998–2009
RankArmy-USA-OR-07.svg Sergeant First Class[1]
Unit1st Special Forces Group
Battles/warsIraq War

Nicholas J. Freitas (born August 29, 1979)[2] is an American politician. A Republican, he has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2015.[3] He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018, losing in the primary election to Corey Stewart. He was the Republican nominee in the 2020 election to represent Virginia's 7th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, which he lost to Abigail Spanberger, the incumbent Democratic congresswoman.[4] Before entering politics, he served in the United States Army.

Early life and education[edit]

Freitas, who is of Portuguese ancestry, was born in Chico, California, on August 29, 1979. After graduating high school, Freitas joined the United States Army and subsequently graduated from Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security.[5]

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Freitas joined the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and served two tours in Iraq. After being honorably discharged in 2009, Freitas moved to Culpeper County, Virginia in 2010 and served as an operations director for a service-disabled veteran-owned company.[6]

Political career[edit]

Freitas became the chairman of the Culpeper County Republican Committee in 2010.

Virginia House of Delegates[edit]

2015[edit]

In 2015, Freitas ran for the Virginia House of Delegates for the 30th district, then held by Republican Ed Scott. After Scott announced his retirement, Freitas was unopposed in both the Republican primary and the general election, and took office in January 2016.[7][8]

The 30th district comprises Madison County, Orange County, and the southern half of Culpeper County.

2017[edit]

He ran for re-election in 2017 and won with 62% of the vote over Democrat Ben Hixon.[9]

2019[edit]

On July 18, 2019, Freitas withdrew from the 2019 election for House of Delegates after failing to submit required paperwork to the Board of Elections in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the deadline.[10] On August 8, 2019, Freitas announced that he would mount a write-in campaign for re-election and won with 57.89% of the vote.[11][12][13]

As a member of the House of Delegates, Freitas serves on the following committees: Science and Technology; Militia, Police and Public Safety; and Finance.[14]

Congressional campaigns[edit]

2018 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Freitas sought the Republican nomination for the 2018 Senate election in Virginia.[15] He was endorsed by Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee.[16] During the Republican primary campaign, Freitas characterized his rival, Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart, as a "hate-monger."[17] He said, "we must reject Corey Stewart's dog-whistling of White supremacists, anti-Semites, and racists."[17]

In the June 2018 primary, Freitas lost the Republican nomination. Stewart took 44.9% of the vote, Freitas took 43.1% of the vote, and E. W. Jackson took 12.0% of the vote."[18]

2020 U.S. House election[edit]

In December 2019, Freitas announced his candidacy for Virginia's 7th congressional district, in which he sought and won the Republican Party nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger in the 2020 general election. Freitas earned early endorsements from conservative organizations the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks.[19] Freitas was considered to be an early front-runner for the Republican nomination due to opinion polls giving him the lead in support and name recognition.[19] Freitas' state delegate district includes much of the congressional district's northern portion.

Freitas lost the closely fought election,[20] receiving about 49% of the vote to Spanberger's 51% of the vote.[4] Spanberger dominated in the most populous parts of the district, in Chesterfield and Henrico counties in Greater Richmond, while Freitas led in the less-populous parts of the district in outlying Culpeper, Orange, Spotsylvania, Louisa, Goochland, Powhatan, Amelia, and Nottoway counties.[4] Ultimately, Spanberger's combined 43,000-vote margin in Henrico and Chesterfield proved too much for Freitas to overcome; it was more than five times Spanberger's overall margin of 8,400 votes.[21]

Political views[edit]

In the House of Delegates, Freitas has been described as having a "conservative voting record and libertarian streak."[22]

He has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), describing it as a "cancer."[3] He supports the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.[3] In 2016, he urged the Culpeper County School Board to disregard an Obama administration mandate that transgender students be allowed the use of the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.[23] He called it unconstitutional, and said the Obama administration does not "get to arbitrarily redefine what gender means."[23]

In 2018, Freitas praised Donald Trump, saying he had been a stronger leader in his first year than Obama had been during his eight years.[3] Freitas has called for abolishing the federal income tax, replacing it with a national sales tax.[3] He supported the 2017 Republican tax legislation.[3] In 2018, Freitas opposed the Iran nuclear agreement and supported Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from it.[3]

In 2020, Freitas voted against legislation in the Virginia General Assembly to gradually increase the state minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023.[24] He opposes proposals to increase the federal minimum wage.[25][26]

Freitas voted in favor of marijuana decriminalization during the January 2020 session of the General Assembly. He stated: "I'd rather we use law enforcement resources to go after violent criminals and people that are creating victims."[27]

In a speech given in March 2018 on the floor of the House of Delegates, Freitas voiced opposition to further gun control proposals following the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.[28] The speech went viral and drew over 11 million views on Freitas' Facebook page.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Freitas is a Protestant Christian and attends Mountain View Church in Culpeper. He married Tina M. Pierce, whom he met in high school. The couple has three children. Freitas is a member of the Heritage Foundation and the National Rifle Association.[5][30]

In 2019, Freitas's wife, Tina, challenged incumbent Republican Emmett Hanger for his Senate seat in Virginia's 24th district.[31] She was defeated in the primary, gaining 43% of the vote to Hanger's 57%.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RallyPoint, archived from the original on January 9, 2018, retrieved January 8, 2018
  2. ^ "Bio for Nicholas J. Frietas". Virginia House of Delegates. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Bill Bartel Virginia Republican Senate candidates repeatedly attack Obama, barely mention Kaine Archived 2018-05-23 at the Wayback Machine, The Virginian-Pilot (May 1, 2018).
  4. ^ a b c Virginia Election Results: Seventh Congressional District, New York Times (2020).
  5. ^ a b "Bio for Nicholas J. Frietas". Virginia House of Delegates. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  6. ^ Close, Gary (January 13, 2015). "Freitas to challenge Scott for delegate nomination". Culpeper Star-Exponent. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Champion, Allison (February 11, 2015). "Reeves endorses Freitas for delegate". Culpeper Star-Exponent. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Close, Gary; Sherman, Anita (November 5, 2015). "Walther and Jenkins ride to victory on election day". Culpeper Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "2017 November General". results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-07-20. Retrieved 2019-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ STAR-EXPONENT, ALLISON BROPHY CHAMPION CULPEPER. "Freitas write-in campaign focused on winning, supporting other GOP candidates". Fredericksburg.com. Archived from the original on 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  12. ^ Holladay, Hilary. "Nick Freitas plans write-in campaign". The Daily Progress. Archived from the original on 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  13. ^ "Del. Nick Freitas to run a write-in campaign". NewsRadio WINA. Archived from the original on 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  14. ^ "Delegate Nicholas J. (Nick) Freitas". Virginia General Assembly.gov. 2019-12-02. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  15. ^ Wilson, Patrick (December 9, 2017). "Virginia Republicans assess November's electoral defeats and plan for the future at annual retreat". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  16. ^ "Rand Paul endorses "liberty Republican" Nick Freitas to challenge Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine". Rare.us. 5 January 2018. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  17. ^ a b Patrick Wilson. "Senate candidate Nick Freitas unloads on rival Corey Stewart: "Time we defeat the hate mongers"". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  18. ^ Virginia Senate Results: Corey Stewart Wins Republican Primary, New York Times (June 2018).
  19. ^ a b Portnoy, Jenna (December 2, 2019). "Va. Del. Nicholas J. Freitas joins Republican race to challenge U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ VA-House-7-elected, Associated Press (November 8, 2020).
  21. ^ Election results from CNN
  22. ^ "Delegate Joins Senate Race to Challenge Tim Kaine". Associated Press. December 10, 2017. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Culpeper delegation addresses transgender bathroom use". The Daily Progress. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  24. ^ General Assembly okays a higher minimum wage, WINA (2020).
  25. ^ Michael Martz, Spanberger and Freitas split on minimum wage, health care, pandemic during televised forum, Richmond Times-Dispatch (October 20, 2020).
  26. ^ Warren Fiske, Spanberger Claims Minimum Wage Workers are Mostly Moms, Politifact VA/VPM News (October 30, 2020).
  27. ^ Oliver, Ned (2020-02-10). "'I just have a libertarian streak.' Nine House Republicans vote with Democrats to decriminalize marijuana". Virginia Mercury. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  28. ^ Gregory S. Schneider, Gun-control issue boils over in Virginia House after fiery speech from delegate Archived 2018-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, Washington Post (March 2, 2018).
  29. ^ Moomaw, Graham (March 5, 2018). "As Freitas' guns speech goes viral, Virginia Democrats say slavery remarks reopened racial wounds". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "Issues | Nick Freitas for U.S. Senate". Nick Freitas for U.S. Senate. Archived from the original on 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  31. ^ Friedenberger, Amy (2019-06-01). "Facing challenger from his right, Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger fights to hold the center". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  32. ^ Brophy, Allison (2019-08-06). "Freitas urges State Board to allow Republican on ballot in November". Culpeper Star-Exponent. Retrieved 2019-12-03.

External links[edit]

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by
Ed Scott
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 30th district

2016–present
Incumbent