Because the Democratic field of candidates running for president in 2020 isn’t crowded enough, former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania has become the 24th person to jump into the race for the party’s nomination.
A former three-star Navy admiral and congressman, Sestak announced his bid Sunday on his website.
“I want to be that President who serves the American people the way they deserve to be served,” he said in a video announcing his candidacy.
Sestak, 67, represented Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District, a traditionally Republican district, from 2007-2011. In April 2016, he was defeated in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate by Katie McGinty, a former environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore who was backed in the race by the Democratic Party machine. McGinty later lost the race to Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
A kickoff event for Sestak’s presidential candidacy was planned for Sunday afternoon in Waterloo, Iowa, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
According to the newspaper, “In keeping with his unusual methods, Sestak’s announcement surprised even some longtime supporters and campaign staffers, who were blindsided by his decision to reenter politics.”
During his second of two Senate campaigns, Sestak walked 422 miles across Pennsylvania to show he was “walking in the shoes of Pennsylvanians,” the Inquirer reported at the time.
In one of several videos scheduled to be posted to his website on Sunday, Sestak outlined priorities that include addressing climate change and “putting an end to an illiberal world order’s injustices, from China’s control of the 5G network to Russian interference in democratic elections.”
China appears to be one of Sestak’s major concerns, and he highlighted that many cash-strapped countries are “enslaved by massive debt to China.”
He also expressed the need “to heal our nation’s soul by regaining the trust of Americans.”
“Our country desperately needs a President with a depth of global experience and an understanding of all the elements of our nation’s power, from our economy and our diplomacy to the power of our ideals and our military, including its limitations. So that, when faced with the decision on whether to use our military, our Commander-in-Chief will know how it will end before deciding if it is wise to begin,” Sestak said.
To set him apart from the 23 other Democratic candidates, Sestak wants you to call him “Admiral Joe.”
Best of luck to you, Admiral Joe.