Common Defense Endorses Candidates Leading on National Security

06/15/2022

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 for national security: 

Jason Crow (CO-6)

Elissa Slotkin (MI-7)

Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)

Ruben Gallego (AZ-3)

Sara Jacobs (CA-51)

Ro Khanna (CA-17)

Veronica Escobar (TX-16)

Common Defense-endorsed candidates are individuals who we believe best capture the grassroots energy of our political moment 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:

Jason Crow (CO-6)

A former Army Ranger and Bronze Star, Jason Crow joined the active duty Army and served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Jason has taken his servant leadership to Congress where he represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District and serves on the House Small Business and Armed Services Committees and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Whether combatting the climate crisis, creating better, higher-paying jobs for hardworking families, or preventing gun violence, Jason is focused on putting Colorado and our country ahead of politics and partisanship.

Elissa Slotkin (MI-7)

Representative Elissa Slotkin is honored to serve the residents of Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, a district that includes Ingham, Livingston, and North Oakland Counties. Rep. Slotkin has spent her career in national service. She was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to be a Middle East analyst and went on to devote her career to protecting the United States from national security threats.

It is this same mission-focus that Rep. Slotkin brings to issues affecting citizens of Michigan’s 8th congressional district. For Rep. Slotkin, this means ensuring that everyone has access to healthcare they can afford, lowering the price of prescription drugs, protecting access to clean water and Michigan’s Great Lakes, and returning decency and integrity to politics.

Mikkie Sherrill (NJ-11)

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill proudly represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1994, Congresswoman Sherrill spent almost 10 years on active duty in the United States Navy. She flew missions throughout Europe and the Middle East as a Sea King helicopter pilot, worked on the Battle Watch Floor in the European Theater during the Iraq invasion, and served as a Flag Aide to the Deputy Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Congresswoman Sherrill sits on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the House Education and Labor Committee. 

Ruben Gallego (AZ-3)

Congressman Ruben Gallego represents the 7th District of Arizona, including parts of Phoenix, Glendale, and Tolleson, in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2014. Representative Gallego believes in improving the health and welfare of veterans by first working to prevent unnecessary wars. When the fighting starts, he believes in providing them with the equipment and training to win. After combat, he believes in supporting veterans and their families to treat acute and chronic health issues, continue their education, and continue to serve as private citizens.

Sara Jacobs (CA-51)

Congresswoman Sara Jacobs proudly represents California’s 53rd Congressional District. A third-generation San Diegan, Congresswoman Jacobs attended local public schools before graduating from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of International Affairs degree in International Security Policy and Conflict Resolution.

Congresswoman Jacobs serves as the Founding Chair of San Diego for Every Child, a coalition dedicated to ending the experience of child poverty in San Diego County, which she founded in 2018. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the coalition adapted their mission to serve San Diegans in crisis — mobilizing funding to support child care for essential workers and co-chairing the Equitable Distance Learning Task Force to support students throughout San Diego County.

Ro Khanna (CA-17)

Congressman Ro Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving in his third term. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform committees, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee.

Additionally, Rep. Khanna is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Rep. Khanna is committed to representing the people and ideas rooted in Silicon Valley to the nation and throughout the world.

Veronica Escobar (TX-16)

Representative Veronica Escobar is a third-generation El Pasoan and lifelong Democrat. She is one of the first two Latinas to serve Texas in Congress when elected in 2018, and the first woman to hold the seat in El Paso, Texas.

Congresswoman Escobar has sponsored more than 35 bills including the Homeland Security Improvement Act, the Asylum Seeker Protection Act, and the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act, while co-sponsoring over 750 additional bills.

Rep. Escobar has voted to support veterans, LGBTQ+ rights, equal pay, gun safety, environmental protections, expanding healthcare for all, and election security.

She is an Assistant Whip, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. She was appointed to the House Committee on Ethics and House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Her leadership positions include serving as the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Vice Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force. She delivered the Presidential delegate count for the State of Texas during the 2020 Democratic Convention’s Roll Call. In February 2020, she delivered the Spanish-language response to Trump’s State of the Union address.

“We feel incredibly lucky to have so many candidates who share our vision of pursuing a national security infrastructure that is aligned with our values,” said Naveed Shah, Political Director at Common Defense. “These leaders are fighting for the values that are sorely needed in Congress. Common Defense is proud to endorse them.”

“It’s an honor to be endorsed by Common Defense. I proudly stand beside these veterans in the fight to improve our VA system, defend human rights, and protect our service members from sexual and physical assault,” said Veronica Escobar. “I’m thankful for the endorsement and ready to work towards solutions for our nation’s veterans.”

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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