Veterans have always played a significant role in government and public service. Yet, the number of Veterans serving in Congress has been trending downward for years. As Congress has become increasingly partisan and filled with career politicians, public trust in Congress has steadily reached new lows. We need more Veterans in Congress and many organizations are dedicated to making this happen. But money and exposure are the most difficult commodities to come by for any candidate, never mind a start-up looking for their first term. Luckily, Political Action Committees, or PACs, have been helping Veteran candidates with the organizational support and funding which are pivotal to a successful campaign. Here are three who had a big impact in 2020:
The War Veterans Fund is a focused conservative PAC whose stated mission is to elect Republican Combat Veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq to a first term. “They have fought for their country overseas and are ready to fight for it again… this time in the halls of the U.S. Congress.” One of the PAC’s choice candidates in the 2020 Elections was Master Chief Petty Officer Tony Gonzales who ran for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District Seat and won with a little help from the War Veterans Fund. According to OpenSecrets.org, the fund donated $2,000 to Gozales’ campaign. Previous candidates backed by the War Veteran’s Fund include Congressman Mike Waltz from Florida and Dan Crenshaw from Texas. If you are a veteran of Afghanistan and/or Iraq and are considering a future bid for office, War Veterans Fund can be contacted here.
VoteVets is a far-reaching PAC that contributes primarily to Liberal/Progressive candidates and organizations. While the PAC primarily focuses on issues concerning Veterans, it has a diverse range of interests, according to its website: “Veterans have a stake in the top issues of the day, and VoteVets.org is committed to getting their voices heard on these issues. For that reason, VoteVets.org has and will continue to work with all progressive allies representing labor, immigration, gay and lesbian rights, and environmentalists, when their issues coincide with the needs of troops and veterans.” According to information available on OpenSecrets.Org, VoteVets contributed a total of $396,933 exclusively to Democrat candidates in the 2020 election cycle. Some of their largest contributions were made to Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, House candidate Conor Lamb, and the Experienced Leadership Matters PAC, a Super PAC set up by congressional candidate Jake Auchincloss’ parents to fund his successful bid for office in Massachusetts.
Extreme partisanship & the inability to compromise for the greater good of our country has led to shockingly little faith in Congress within the American public. With Honor is a non-partisan PAC looking to bridge this divide in our nation and create stability in leadership through Veteran candidates. Candidates are expected to act in accordance with the organizations pledge of Integrity, Civility, and Courage. The PAC represents “…a new cross-partisan movement dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service.” And according to OpenSecrets.Org, the organization raised a tremendous amount of money for Veterans on both sides of the aisle in 2020. OpenSecrets reports that With Honor raised a total of $275,412 in the 2020 Election cycle. There are 49 recipients listed as receiving contributions from the organization, both Republican & Democrat, with donations ranging from $15,000-$200.
In 2020, American Veterans Honor Fund embarked on an extensive campaign to reach out to voters in North Carolina. Our mission was to get the vote out on behalf of Veteran candidates and those who would be a voice for the Veteran community in government.