The midterm elections were characterized by divisiveness and deep-rooted party loyalty. The House flipped as predicted while the GOP retained the majority in the Senate. However, when it came to Veteran candidates and the issues that matter it’s easy to characterize the election as a win for our former men and women service members.
First, the 2018 midterm elections saw more than 200 veterans running for seats in the House and Senate, an uptick compared to 2016 and signs of a positive trend for the future. Many veterans ran in high-profile races such as Republican Reps. Martha McSally and Duncan Hunter, who are part of a traditional Republican block of candidates running in the district and statewide races. But others were part of a new generation of politicians with military experience. In a closer at the 200 candidates we tracked, 102 were Republicans, 61 were Democrats with the remaining third-party and write-in candidates. This new generation is fueled by a strong desire to serve and alter the course of our great country by standing firmly in support of the issues that matter to veterans and non-veterans alike.
Some key Republican highlights from the 2018 Mid-term election includes:
Mike Bost wins in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District in a key battleground race
Mike is a former Marine where he served as an electronic specialist and radar repairman. Mike also served as a firefighter during his two decades of service in the Illinois state House. Mike rose to prominence as House Republican Caucus Chair before seeking his national House seat. Mike has worked tirelessly to reduce regulations on farmers and to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans access care.
In this hotly contested race, Mike was able to claim victory over Brendan Kelly (Dem.) with 51.8% of the vote.
Adam Kinzinger wins in Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District
Adam’s top priorities include strengthening U.S. energy policy and making our nation less reliant on foreign resources as well as bolstering the strength of our national security – both at home and abroad. Prior to being elected to Congress, Kinzinger served in the Air Force in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kinzinger led the race by a steep margin, ending with 59.68 percent against Sara Dady (Dem.) ended with 40.32 percent and 100,789 votes. This will be Adam’s fourth term in office.
Mike Gallagher wins in Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District
Mike is a Green Bay native, seven-year Marine Corps veteran and former global market strategist for Breakthrough Fuel. Mike was first elected in 2016 in a bid to replace former Republican Rep. Reid Ribble, who opted to retire after three terms in office. In that race, Gallagher defeated Democrat Tom Nelson with 63 percent of the vote.
Mike won re-election over Beau Liegeois (Dem.) with 64 percent of the vote.
The Road Ahead
Our newly elected Veteran leaders have an ambitious road ahead. When Congress returns to session in January several Military and Veteran focused issues are on the table such as:
- Decisions regarding the ongoing military buildup, war, and deployment overseas
- What citizens can enlist in the armed services.
- VA aid funding, distribution, and staffing.
- The deployment of up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Two the proposed the fiscal year 2020 budgets: a $733 billion plan that would stay on track with a military expansion and a $700 billion plan that would undo much of its initiatives from the last two years.
We Continue to Need Your Support
We have confidence that our newly elected Veteran leaders will steer the course with honor. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor and fight for the issues that matter most to our Veterans and their families. We greatly appreciate all your support and donations. With your help and your voice, we hope to continue identifying and supporting great Veteran candidates that are dedicated to leading our country during these tumultuous times.
Though the elections are over, our mission is not. Onward and upward as we seek to inspire and support the leaders of the future.