EXCLUSIVE: Nikki Haley To Endorse Retired Navy SEAL In Key House Race

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley will endorse retired Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden in the Republican primary for Wisconsin’s Third District later Wednesday, she confirmed to the Daily Caller.

Van Orden, who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq over the course of his military career, is one of several Special Forces veterans running for Congress. He ran in the Third District in 2020 against Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, losing by fewer than three points. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has tabbed the race as a target for a GOP pickup, and Kind is retiring at the end of the current term.

“Derrick Van Orden is a Navy SEAL and family man who’s never stood on the sidelines,” Haley told the Caller of Van Orden’s candidacy. “In Washington, he’ll defend Wisconsin values, fight for our farmers, and hold Biden’s foreign policy accountable. Our country would benefit by having him walk the halls of Congress.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nikki Haley To Announce Major Endorsement In House Race GOP Has Targeted For Pickup)

Haley has endorsed 39 Republican candidates during the 2021-22 election cycle through her political action committee, Stand for America PAC. Endorsements grant candidates access to campaign funds as well as small dollar donor lists. Stand for America PAC has raised more than $11 million during the current cycle, and has roughly $3.5 million on hand, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

In addition to support from Haley, Van Orden is a member of the NRCC’s “Young Gun” program. He has also been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

“Ambassador Haley is a true leader this country is lucky to have. She is a trailblazer, a fighter, and someone who has always done what is best for the American people in the statehouse, as Governor, and as UN Ambassador. I am profoundly grateful to receive her endorsement,” Van Orden said in a statement to the Daily Caller.

Former President Donald Trump won the Third District twice, and redistricting did not substantially alter its composition. Kind has served in Congress and held the seat since 1997.