U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gerry Leonard will win the Republican nomination for the vacant seat in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

Leonard faces a tough race in November against former White House aide Gabe Amo (D). In 2022, the Democratic candidate beat the Republican by over 25 percentage points in the general election. 

Leonard served for 30 years in the Marines and was deployed in combat tours in places like Kuwait and Iraq, according to his campaign website. He received military decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.

After retirement in 2019, he joined a Rhode Island-based firm “to develop and grow its federal construction portfolio,” but stepped down to run for the congressional seat.

“As the father of four adult children, Gerry understands the terrific challenges Rhode Islanders face in raising their children, protecting their families, paying their bills, and saving for their futures,” his website reads. 

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