A retired Army colonel who served with the elite Special Forces
-- and who is now running for Congress -- is being accused by his
Democratic congressional opponent of being unqualified to serve in
Chris Perkins is running for the 11th congressional seat in
Virginia, which encompasses the Washington, DC, suburbs and a large
constituency of federal government employees. Perkins served most
of his 24 years in uniform as an Army Green Beret overseas.
But incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly recently told The Washington Post, which has endorsed
his candidacy, that Perkins' military service makes him unqualified
to hold federal office because he has not been civically engaged in
the 11th District.
In response, Perkins says
Connolly has been bragging about his career in government.
"He actually was in front of a Chamber of Commerce group and he
said, 'Where has [my opponent] been' while I was building schools
and getting sidewalks and so forth," Perkins notes. "I gotta tell
you, it was a lot of fun telling folks exactly where I have been,
and I think there was a lot of sympathy for our case after
He thinks Connelly's comments have been a major
"There's a lot of outrage over that. We have the highest
population of veterans in all of America here in the 11th District,
as you can imagine, being just south of Washington, DC," the
Republican mentions. "So we're already close. I think this could be
a major game-changer for the campaign. I think he's poked a
hornets' nest here."
Perkins contends that under Connolly's standard, George
Washington and Dwight Eisenhower would have been unqualified for