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What’s Driving 2018 Midterm Swell of Veterans Running for Congress?
This year’s midterm elections include a slate of candidates from diverse backgrounds – including those who served in the armed forces. According to With Honor.org, a group self-identified as “cross-partisan” that works to elect veterans, reports there are nearly 200 vets running for Congress this year.
Nick Armstrong, a veteran and senior director for research and evaluation at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, can discuss the surge of veterans who are running or have run for public office in the 2018 midterms.
“As a group, veterans demonstrate higher levels of civic engagement. Census data shows that they’re more likely to vote, engage with public officials, attend public meetings, and work with their neighbors. It’s true that veteran representation in Congress has declined over the last few decades. This is mainly due to changing demographics.
“More Americans served in the military from World War II through the Vietnam War and this was reflected in the membership of Congress in the decades that followed. The All-Volunteer Force that followed is a smaller military by comparison, especially since the end of the Cold War.
“It’s no surprise that fewer Americans serve in the military today and as a result, we see fewer military veteran members of Congress.
“However, given today’s political climate and veterans known tendencies for public service, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an up swell in veterans running for public office.”
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