Army veteran running for US Senate in Virginia

Ivan Raiklin is running for U.S. Senate in Virginia.


By PAT KINNEY | Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 12, 2018

Republican U.S. Army veteran Ivan Raiklin is challenging incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine for the Virginia Senate seat in the Nov. 6 general election.

Raiklin, 42, spent 20 years in the U.S. Army after graduating from University of Northern Iowa. He served as a Green Beret and is a veteran of the Afghan War. Raiklin was a military attache serving in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and in the Pentagon during the Ukraine crisis of 2014. 

Last year, he helped train the Jordanian Special Operations Command countering ISIS and deployed to Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

He is on independent ready reserve and is an adviser and investor with small-business startups with tech companies.

"The reason I'm running is that we've had such a negative political atmosphere the past couple of years, I want to inject a 'positive disruption' in the political conversation," Raiklin said. "Being a veteran of 20 years, I'm pretty much a political agnostic."

He said he's been trained to focus on overall good of the military unit he's serving and applies those same standards to his community and his country.

Raiklin is one of multiple candidates seeking the GOP Senate nomination.

He likes his chances, given Virginia's large number of veterans, millennials and people currently serving in the military or the federal government. He holds degrees in Russian and Spanish, as well as a law degree, and said he's challenged Kaine to a debate in Spanish.

The primary is June 12.

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