Former Navy admiral seeking presidency to speak at Ames Public Library


Jake Webster/Iowa State Daily

Presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Sestak speaks to Story County Democrats in their monthly meeting July 25 at the Ames Public Library. He discussed his career in the navy and the challenges his campaign faces, having entered the race later than most democrats.

Logan Engle

Retired United States Navy Admiral and former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., will speak at the Story County Democrats meeting 7:45 p.m. Thursday. The event will be at the Ames Public Library.

Sestak announced his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in June. His campaign has focused heavily on Iowa, holding more than 50 events in the state since entering the race.

Sestak’s policies include governmental and electoral reform, support for LGBTQ+ rights and social and racial justice. His campaign has so far focused on anti-corruption efforts and rebuilding trust between the government and the American people, using the campaign motto “Accountability to America.”

Before his 2020 campaign and his political career, Sestak served in the U.S. Navy, reaching the rank of vice admiral. During his time in the Navy he served as the weapons officer on the destroyer USS Hoel and commander of the USS, Samuel B. Roberts. He also commanded the George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group, which consisted of 10 ships under his command. After his daughter, who was three years old at the time, was diagnosed with brain cancer, Sestak retired from the Navy after 31 years of service.

In 2006 Sestak ran for congress in Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District against Republican incumbent Curt Weldon. Sestak won the election against Weldon (56.4 percent to 43.6 percent). In 2008, Sestak ran as the incumbent against Republican Wendell Craig Williams, and won by a 20 percent margin. Sestak went on to run for U.S. Senate in 2010, and was defeated by now-Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.