Common Defense Endorses Candidates Leading on Foreign Policy

06/17/2022

WASHINGTON — Common Defense, a grassroots organization of progressive veterans with more than 250,000 members, is proud to announce new candidate endorsements for the 2022 midterm elections that are leaders in the foreign policy space:

Andy Kim (NJ-3)

Tom Malinowski (NJ-7)

Abigail Spanberger (VA-7)

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Colin Allred (TX-32)

Susan Wild (PA-7)

Andy Levin (MI-11)

Jim McGovern (MA-2)

Common Defense-endorsed candidates are individuals who we believe best capture the grassroots energy of our political movement to champion a policy agenda rooted in economic, social, and global justice. We are proud to announce this slate of endorsees because Common Defense is deeply committed to and engaged in grassroots organizing, and these candidates are running and leading with these values at the forefront.

About the Candidates:

Andy Kim (NJ-3)

Congressman Andy Kim represents the Third Congressional District of New Jersey. Congressman Kim has dedicated his life to serving the country. He worked as a career public servant under both Democrats and Republicans, having served at USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House National Security Council, and in Afghanistan as an advisor to Generals Petraeus and Allen.

Tom Malinowski (NJ-7)

Rep. Tom Malinowski was born in Communist Poland during the height of the Cold War. When he was six, he and his mother fled to the United States, and grew up in Central Jersey.

Malinowski served as a Senior Director on President Clinton’s National Security Council where he worked to end conflicts around the globe. He then served as the chief advocate for Human Rights Watch, where he led the bipartisan campaign to end the use of torture by the Bush Administration. Later he served the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor where he helped lead America’s fight for human rights around the world.

Abigail Spanberger (VA-7)

Abigail’s career has been defined by public service. She first swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution as a federal agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. In this role, she investigated money laundering and narcotics cases — including at the southern border.

Then, as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) case officer, she worked at home and abroad to collect intelligence, keep our country safe from terrorism, and inform policymakers in their national security decisions. Following her time at CIA, Abigail joined the private sector and helped American colleges and universities diversify their student bodies, expand opportunities for Americans entering the workforce, and increase graduation rates.

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Joaquin Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas on September 16, 1974. A second generation Mexican American, he was raised on the city’s west side and is a proud product of the public school system. In 2012, Joaquin was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives as representative of Texas’ 20th Congressional District, which covers a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. Joaquin’s identical twin brother, Julián Castro, was elected in 2013 to his third term as Mayor of San Antonio. On July 28, 2014, Julian Castro was sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Colin Allred (TX-32)

Colin was born and raised in North Texas, one of the most dynamic and diverse communities in America. He spent his first term in Congress working across the aisle to deliver real solutions to the problems North Texans face. He led the fight to lower prescription drug prices, championed a bipartisan paid family leave bill, passed a trade deal with Mexico that keeps jobs in North Texas, and secured the Garland VA Medical Center to help serve thousands of veterans in our community and create thousands of jobs in the process.

Susan Wild (PA-7)

Congresswoman Susan Wild is a mother, attorney, public servant, and a dedicated member of the Greater Lehigh Valley community for more than 30 years. The daughter of a journalist and a career Air Force officer, she was born at Wiesbaden Air Force Base in West Germany, and spent her childhood on Air Force bases across our country and around the world—an experience that shaped her lifelong commitment to the families that serve and sacrifice alongside our servicemembers. In November 2018, she made history again when she was elected as the first woman to represent Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Andy Levin (MI-11)

Inspired by his family’s values of public service and activism, Andy has dedicated his career to championing the working class, human rights and clean energy. And with the colliding crises of the pandemic and ensuing public health emergency, racial injustice and climate change, his life’s work has never been urgent.

He helped lead the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives as an original cosponsor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. And we need to keep this decisive, effective, creative leader in Washington — where he’s proven that he knows how to get things done.

Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)

First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee. A steadfast champion for working- and middle-class New Yorkers, Congressman Espaillat is a staunch advocate of a fair living wage, immediate and effective investments in affordable housing, meaningful criminal justice reform, infrastructure improvements, expanded youth programs, and better educational opportunities. Throughout the tenure of his career in public service, Congressman Espaillat has been a vocal advocate for protecting tenants, improving schools, and making serious, smart investments in economic development, job creation, and environmental protection.  

“Common Defense has the utmost respect for these candidates, who have shown in their words and actions that they believe in building a foreign policy infrastructure that is dedicated to ending wars and protecting human rights and liberties,” said Naveed Shah, Political Director at Common Defense. “We are proud to endorse leaders who are advocates of a policy agenda that ensures social, racial, environmental, and economic justice.”

“I am proud to have the support of patriotic American veterans who defended our ideals abroad and are standing up for our democracy at home,” said Representative Malinowski.

“I am honored to be endorsed by Common Defense. I am committed to keeping our nation’s promise to veterans,” said Representative Spanberger“In Congress, I have worked across the aisle to deliver results for the veterans of Virginia and across the country by improving veterans’ access to quality healthcare through our VA system and strengthening veterans’ transition to the civilian workforce.”

“I’m proud to be endorsed by Common Defense and stand with veterans across the country working to advance our shared values— including increasing access to quality, affordable health care, better working conditions and fair wages, and protecting our democracy,” said Congresswoman Susan Wild.

Common Defense is distinct from other veteran political organizations in that we endorse and support candidates who reflect the progressive values of our 250,000 members, regardless of whether the candidate served in the military themselves. Our work in 2022 focuses on organizing and training veterans and military families in these districts in order to give them the chance to speak out and challenge the status quo, and to change the false narrative that all veterans are conservatives. The military community is not a political prop to be exploited, and we will not endorse an agenda of greed and hate.

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Common Defense is a grassroots, veteran-led organization that was founded in 2016. We empower veterans to stand up for our communities against the rising tide of racism, hate, and violence, to organize against the entrenched powers that have rigged our economy, and to champion an equitable and representative democracy, where “liberty and justice” truly is for all. For too long, politicians from both political parties have attempted to use veterans as unwilling political props, and Common Defense serves as a home for veterans to organize and speak for themselves and support the candidates who truly share our values.

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