Full Name: Sergio de la Peña
Office Sought: Seeking the Office of Governor
Party Affiliation: Republican
Structured Interview Request Sent:
February 8, 2021 and February 11, 2021
Structured Interview Response and Date:
Yes, March 8th, 2021
Vetting Panel Selected: Pending
Structured Interview Completed: Pending
Biography: I’ve lived the American Dream. I was born in Mexico, lived in a house with dirt floors and no running water. I came here legally when I was 5 years old. I started picking cotton when I was 10. I worked 20 jobs before entering the Army through the ROTC program where I graduated Army Ranger and Airborne schools before commissioning. I served 30 years in the Army retiring as a colonel. I traveled the world, saw how communists and socialists destroy thriving economies and worked hard to stop the threat from infecting the world. I served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Pentagon helping to develop American defense policy for half of the world. As a husband of 29 years, a homeschool father of 5, and a defender of freedom, I have the responsibility to ensure that my kids and your kids can raise their children in a free and prosperous Commonwealth.
Why you? I’ve lived the American Dream. I came to the greatest country in the world with nothing and worked hard to become a senior executive in the Trump administration. I am the only candidate who can reach the entire state. Let’s start with Northern VA. NOVA is the tough nut we must crack to win a general election. I am the only candidate who can reach the immigrant populations, especially Hispanics in NOVA. I helped President Trump win 29% of the Hispanic vote as a surrogate assigned to Hispanic outreach. I did over 60 interviews in Spanish. I am the only candidate who can also reach the rest of the Commonwealth. As a retired Colonel, I am the veteran who can reach our military personnel living throughout the Commonwealth. As a former farmworker, I can reach our farming communities. Having worked on a drilling rig, I can reach the miners in Southwest VA.
I have the most extensive leadership skills of all the candidates because of my 30-year Army career where I led service members and managed people, budgets, and equipment. My life’s work culminated in a President Trump-appointed position in the Pentagon helping to develop American defense policy for half of the globe.
I am an immigrant. I am a soldier. I am a civil servant. I am not a politician.
What are your priorities?
My top priorities, in no particular order, all are important.
1. Ensure election integrity in November with a grass-roots effort to recruit Republican election officials.
2. Build a strong economy by opening schools and businesses, lowering taxes, and deregulating business and industry.
3. Protect life from the womb to the tomb.
4. Support 2nd Amendment rights by stopping local jurisdictions from overriding Virginia’s concealed carry laws.
5. Ensure safety and security by fully funding the police and law enforcement.
6. Reign in illegal immigration by eliminating taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants such as in-state college tuition and drivers’ licenses.
7. Stop career politicians by supporting term limits.
8. Protect freedom of speech.
9. Protect religious freedom.
10. Give students a better opportunity by supporting school choice.
Bachelor of Science – University of Iowa
Master of Military Arts and Sciences – Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS
Command and General Staff College
Inter-American Defense College
Relevant Employment History:
US Army Colonel (Ret.) – (1978-2008)
de la Peña Consulting – (2008-2009)
Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) – (2009-2011)
de la Peña Consulting – (2011-2016)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs – (2017-2020)
Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge:
US Army / 30 years / Colonel / Retired
Past Offices Held and Tenure: None.
Community Service: I give back to my community by mentoring people. The army is about mentoring and preparing young soldiers for greater leadership responsibilities. I have personally adopted this culture. I’ve spent a great deal of time mentoring young professionals–those who are in the midst of a career change from the military to civilian life and those who need guidance navigating the civil servant and military career paths.
In addition, my wife and I homeschooled our 5 children, and I expanded that support for homeschooling by serving as a homeschool speech and debate judge and subject matter expert for team policy debate. In addition, I was also an active volunteer in our local Boy Scout troop helping guide my two sons and their fine fellow scouts.
30 years in the US Army
3.5 years in the Pentagon
Personal Strengths: I have lived my life in service to God, family, and country.
I am a negotiator who gets people to yes. I have a proven track record of building relationships that result in deals benefiting those who I’m representing. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, I built relationships with every country in this hemisphere (to a much lesser degree with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela) working to support their political and economic alignment with the US.
What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? As governor, I will stand up to the liberals without compromise to ensure your Constitutional rights are upheld so that you can live in safe neighborhoods, raise strong families, and have meaningful work.
How would your friends and family describe you? Lifelong relationships are important to me. I am intentional about making and keeping friends and taking care of my family. They would describe me as someone who always leaves a place in better condition than when I found it.
Do you believe – THE CONSTITUTION is the Law of the Land. Our individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, serve to limit the government as intended by the Founders?
Do you believe – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY is a cornerstone of our Constitution and must be protected as in inalienable human right?
Do you believe – OUR HISTORY and the associated memoria serve as guideposts in our journey as a Nation, to serve as reminders of our shared sacrifices and as warnings to future generations?
Do you believe – GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY is essential to maintain trust and faith with The People?
Do you believe – PEACE is preserved through a STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE?
Do you believe – THE FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice and Fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraint must be exercised by all levels of government?
Do you believe – ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS and must be protected?
Do you believe – THE FAMILY is the most essential and most empowering organization in our shared human existence?
Do you believe – ALL CITIZENS, in order to realize their fullest potential, are entitled to EQUAL RIGHTS, EQUAL JUSTICE, and EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, not equal outcomes?
Do you believe – THE 2ND AMENDMENT, serves to protect The People against domestic and foreign oppression and must be protected as an inalienable human right?