The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Republican Senate candidate appeals to W&L voters

Eddie Garcia spoke to students as a part of his ongoing pre-election college tour
Eddie Garcia, who served in the U.S. Army, is running for Senate in Virginia. Photo courtesy of campaign website

Senate candidate Eddie Garcia addressed students at a meet and greet on Feb. 21, hosted by the College Republicans.

Garcia, who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, said he wants to reshape the Republican Party to attract young people. He also wants to beat Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine, who currently represents Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

He said that Republican messaging must emphasize opportunities for young people’s economic mobility.

“I believe in a better tomorrow where the American Dream becomes more than just a distant goal but an achievable reality,” Garcia said.

One of the most relevant issues for young voters, according to Garcia, is education. He acknowledged the problem of mounting student debt but did not offer a plan for debt relief.

Instead, he criticized universities for recklessness with student loans and perceived political bias.

Garcia proposed taxing Ivy League endowments to hold them accountable but didn’t specify where the tax money would go.

Garcia also said he encourages governmental policies that support young families, such as an increased child tax credit.

Garcia said he is “pro-life,” which he described as different from the “pro-birth” stance that many in the Republican Party share.

“I will fight to expand maternity care, increase crisis pregnancy centers and invest in our children’s future by increasing the federal child tax credit,” said Garcia on his campaign website.

However, he criticized single motherhood and nontraditional families.

Garcia also sought to use his age to gain credibility with his audience. 

Being in his forties, the candidate emphasized that, similar to current college students, the policies of today will impact him for decades. He said that elderly politicians ignore young peoples’ interests.

During the meet and greet, Garcia also highlighted his service in the U.S. Army.

He completed six deployments, three in Afghanistan and three in Iraq. Since then, he also worked on veteran policies in the Pentagon.

Garcia said his military career informed his hands-off foreign policy ideas.

“I’ve experienced the impacts of the failure of politics and the decline of our nation’s standing in the world,” Garcia’s website states about his years in the Army.

He advocated for ending aid to Ukraine. He also said that the United States should not tell Israel how to conduct its war in Gaza.

In addition to addressing political questions, the Senate candidate shared his personal story.

As the son of a Texas ranch hand and a grocery store worker, Garcia didn’t come from money.

He said that his success is an example of the American dream.

Garcia contrasted his working-class background with the man he endorsed for president, Donald Trump.

“It’s hard for me to accept that the billionaire from New York is the person who cares about working people,” said Garcia.

Garcia has not yet garnered the 10,000 signatures needed to run for the seat.

At the end of the talk, he asked for the people in the room to sign his petition.

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    JEANETTEMar 26, 2024 at 8:24 am

    Good article on what the candidates stands for.