Earlier this year I returned home after serving in the U.S. Navy for 31 years. I decided to run for Congress because the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress are taking our country in the wrong direction. I firmly believe that national security begins at home with the health, education, economic, and defense security of our citizens — securities which have been severely eroded by the policies of this Republican Congress and Administration. I am running to reverse that erosion, and to help establish a new direction for our government and country.

I was extremely honored to be selected to address our nation on national security and world wide security issues. This shows that our message of change in the direction of our national security is one that has resonated in our district and is one that is recognized as resonating throughout America. I believe Iraq was a tragic misadventure and was not a clear and present danger. It distracted us from finishing the work needed to fully secure peace in Afghanistan and undermined our ability to focus on security issues elsewhere in the world. Having served as the first Director of ‘Deep Blue,’ the Navy’s anti-terrorism group after 9/11 and having commanded an aircraft carrier battle group of 15,000 men and women that conducted combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, I know from firsthand experience that we must address the global aspects of terrorism rather than remaining entrenched in Iraq. In fact, for just two days on what we spend in Iraq, we could have 100 percent screening of all air cargo. For five days in Iraq, we can have radiation detectors at all US ports. It’s clear now more than ever we need a change in Washington so we can once again be looked up to for our leadership in the world.