WINCHESTER — U.S. Senate candidate Alissa Baldwin says that faith, family and freedom are the three most important things to her.
Baldwin, 42, is running against professor and Army veteran Daniel Gade and Army veteran and intelligence officer Thomas Speciale in the June 23 Republican Primary. The General Election against Democratic incumbent Mark Warner is Nov. 3.
Baldwin is a civics and economics teacher for Nottoway County Public Schools. She said she decided to run for office during a conversation she had with her eighth grade civic students about politics and elections. Her students asked her why she hadn’t run for office, saying, “you know the Constitution better than anyone.”
“I thought, ‘You know what? They are right,’” Baldwin said. “And at that point I had gotten so disgusted with the career politicians and of course the liberal push that we were seeing in the General Assembly. So I was like, ‘You know what? They are right.”
She officially announced her candidacy on July 4. She said she fully believes in transparency and accountability and that if elected she would work to make herself available to her constituents.
Baldwin considers abortion to be "government-sanctioned murder” and opposes it even in rape cases. She said she is a survivor of sexual assault, but believes “all life has value no matter the circumstances of conception.” She is against federal money going toward Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions among other services.
“I personally would like to see it banned,” Baldwin said of abortion. “And I think the only real exception I could agree to politically was if the life of the mother were in jeopardy.”
She believes Congress should do more to provide funding for public schools, particularly those in rural communities that lack the tax base to provide more than the basics. However, she also believes “the money should follow the child” to give parents choices as to how they educate their child — such as homeschooling, private schools or charter schools.
Baldwin said she doesn't want any more restrictions on gun ownership and dislikes the efforts to increase gun control in the wake of the mass shootings throughout the country. She considers the Second Amendment vital and believes that government tyranny can arise when citizens have no way of defending themselves.
“I always thought, as someone who is pretty much a purist with the Constitution, that ‘shall not infringe’ meant no compromise,” Baldwin said. “Shall not be infringed seems pretty straightforward. And so I was appalled and shocked that so many people wanted legislation introduced that would restrict the law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. I’m a gun owner myself.”
She opposes giving amnesty to immigrants who have entered the country illegally, considering it “a liberal solution to an open borders problem.” She believes every arrested immigrant who came to the country illegally should be deported.
“If we are just going to let everyone in, then we are going to incentivize violating the spirit of the rule of law,” Baldwin said. “And we have to believe that the rule of law still matters. It’s a fundamental principle of American government.”
She would also like to see border security increased.
“It would be easy to say, ‘build a wall,’” Baldwin said. “But I don’t think that a wall in and of itself is the solution because that’s just one physical border to our country. I think there needs to be a multi-pronged approach there. Yes, we need physical barriers, but we also need other infrastructure supports like surveillance on the border and more guards and customs enforcement officials there as well.”
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Baldwin wants to make sure that money is appropriated to “the right citizens and small business,” where it could do the most good and not to those who don't need it. She also doesn't want people to become dependent on COVID-19 relief money and wants people to remain incentivized to work.
Baldwin has been in education for 16 years, serving as a teacher at various schools. Prior to that, she was a civil litigation senior paralegal and law firm administrator. She received her master of science in Educational Leadership from Longwood University in December 2012 and her bachelor of arts from the University of Richmond in May 2000.
Baldwin is a lifelong Virginian and currently lives in Lunenburg County in southside Virginia.
While she said she would not disparage her other Republican candidates, she believes she is the best option to defeat Mark Warner.
“I think I'm the best candidate because my heart is pure. I have a servant’s heart. I have always been involved with conservative politics in the Republican Party in particular, helping to elect good, strong candidates who represent our conservative values in Virginia and help families and protect religious liberties and individual freedom.”