Former 3-star Admiral Joe Sestak served in the Navy for 31 years and then as the highest ranking military officer ever elected to Congress when he represented Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District from 2007-2010. He commanded an aircraft carrier battle group that conducted operations in Afghanistan and Iraq with 30 U.S. and allied ships and more than 15,000 sailors and 100 aircraft. Prior to that, Joe served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council and the first Director of the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit after 9/11.
In 2006, Joe defeated a ten-term incumbent in his home District, which was 55 percent Republican. As a member of the Armed Services and Education & Labor Committees, and as Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee, Joe would have ten pieces of legislation signed into law. In his first term, he was named the most productive member of his freshman class by the Majority Leader’s Office.
Joe ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, bucking the entire Democratic Party leadership because he believed Pennsylvanians deserved a leader who would always put their interests first, even ahead of his party. Against all odds, he rallied from an initial 40 point deficit to win the nomination over a 30-year incumbent. After the primary, Joe continued to run as the candidate with a pragmatic, independent approach in a Senate election decided by only two points in a year when the party lost the governor’s race by 9 points and lost five Pennsylvania Congressional seats by 8 points or more.
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