Retired Air Force Col. takes on former SEAL for House seat

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A retired Air Force colonel says he’ll challenge the former Navy SEAL who represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

Virginia Beach Democrat Dave Belote announced his candidacy Wednesday. The 54-year-old former fighter pilot will try to unseat freshman Republican Congressman Scott Taylor in 2018.

Belote said he’ll focus on creating jobs and protecting programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. He opposes the Republican proposal in Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Taylor sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. In November, he easily won the district, which is along Virginia’s coastline and has large populations of veterans and service members.

President Donald Trump won the district by more than 3 percentage points. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is already targeting Taylor and considers the district potentially winnable.