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Joe Sestak      

Former 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate; Former U.S. Representative; Retired U.S. Navy Officer

Joseph Ambrose Sestak Jr. is an American politician and retired U.S. Navy officer. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011 and was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 2010. A three-star vice admiral, he was the highest-ranking military official ever elected to the United States Congress at the time of his election. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2020 election, launching his campaign on June 23, 2019, and ending it on December 1.

Graduating second in his class at the United States Naval Academy, Sestak served in the United States Navy for over 31 years and rose to the rank of three-star admiral. He served as the Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council staff under President Bill Clinton and held a series of operational commands, including commanding the USS George Washington carrier strike group during combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2002.

Sestak was elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 in a heavily Republican district, and reelected in 2008 by a 20% margin. He declined to run for reelection in 2010, instead running for the Senate. In the Democratic primary he defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter, 54% to 46%, but he lost the general election to Republican nominee Pat Toomey. Sestak sought a rematch with Toomey in the 2016 election, but lost the primary to Katie McGinty by just under ten points, in the closest and costliest Senate primary of the 2016 cycle, while facing opposition from prominent Democrats.

Sestak then became president of FIRST Global, a nonprofit with the objective of promoting STEM education that brought high-school age teams from 157 countries to Washington, D.C., for the inaugural robotics Olympics.

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