Tags: Trump Administration | democrats | veterans | senate | 2016 | Tammy Duckworth | Jason Kander

Dems Using GOP Strategy to Reclaim Senate: Get Vets to Run

By    |   Monday, 06 Apr 2015 10:26 AM

Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced plans last week to challenge incumbent Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk in 2016, potentially setting up an election contest between two candidates with military experience and signaling that Democrats may be taking a page from Republican Party's campaign playbook — recruit veterans.

Duckworth, who served in Iraq, is the latest veteran to put her name on the Senate ballot for 2016, joining Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, according to The Hill.

The current Congress has the fewest members with military service, . But at least 22 veterans were elected to the House or Senate in 2014, and the current class of lawmakers has the largest representation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, reports The Navy Times.

The number of veterans in Congress, which in 1971 peaked at 72 percent of members in the House and 78 percent in the Senate, has been on the decline in subsequent years, according to one report.

The Republicans were able to retake the Senate, in part, because of the success of candidates with military service, such as Iowa's Joni Ernst and Arkansas' Tom Cotton.

"For the most part, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are still a little young to have reached the stage in life to be running for public office — or at least federal office — in large numbers. But I think over the next six to eight years, you'll begin to see the number of veterans rebound," Cotton, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, told the National Journal.

Of those veterans entering Congress, at least six were Democrats and 16 were Republicans, USA Today reports.

Democrats need a net gain of five seats to retake control in 2016, The Hill reported, and candidates with military service often can provide the kind of star quality needed to achieve that goal.

“Candidates matter. The lesson of 2010 is that even in the wave election, where Republicans nominated candidates with flaws, they lost. So we can’t just nominate anybody. We’ve got to find really good candidates,” former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell told The Washington Post.

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Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced plans last week to challenge incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk, signaling that Democrats may be planning to win back the Senate in 2016 by taking a page from Republican Party's campaign playbook — recruit veterans.
democrats, veterans, senate, 2016, Tammy Duckworth, Jason Kander
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2015-26-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 10:26 AM
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