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Joe Sestak Launches Presidential Bid But Will Not Be in Miami Debates

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Sestak, who served more than three decades in the Navy and who rose to the rank of vice admiral, entered the race on Sunday.

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The already crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates grew this weekend as former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Penn., launched a surprise bid for the Democratic nomination.

Sestak, who served more than three decades in the Navy and who rose to the rank of vice admiral, entered the race on Sunday.

“What Americans most want today is someone who is accountable to them, above self, above party, above any special interest … a president who has the depth of global experience to restore America’s leadership in the world to protect our American Dream at home … and one who is trusted to restructure policies where too many see only the growth of inequity not of the economy,” Sestak announced. “I want to be that president who serves the American people the way they deserve to be served.”

Sestak weighed in on why he was entering the race after two dozen other Democrats had jumped in.

“While my announcement may be later than others for the honor of seeking the presidency, the decision to delay was so I would be there with Alex, our daughter, as the brain cancer she had courageously beaten at four years old returned this past year. But with her same team of medical heroes, she has again overcome the single digit odds,” he noted before showcasing his credentials.

“I had worn the cloth of our nation for over 31 years in peace and war, but after Alex’s first high-grade brain tumor, I needed to answer to you, the American people, who provided the military healthcare coverage that saved our daughter’s life. I served our nation as a U.S. congressman for two terms from a Republican district in order to work for all Americans to have the healthcare coverage we fortunately had had for Alex,” Sestak continued. “Now, the hour has become late to restore U.S. global leadership that convenes the world for two primary objectives that serve our collective well-being here at home:  putting a brake on climate change and putting an end to an illiberal world order’s injustices, from China’s control of the 5G network to Russian interference in democratic elections.”

Sestak closed with a call for national unity.

“We cannot meet the defining challenges of our time without a united America,” he claimed. “This is our Hobson’s Choice: not just to win this presidential election, but to heal our nation’s soul by regaining the trust of Americans – all Americans – by a president who the people know will remain accountable to them alone, no matter the cost to him.”

Sestak was elected to the U.S. House in 2006 and served two terms before losing bids for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2016.

The new candidate is missing out on the first round of debates as 20 of the candidates will clash in two events scheduled in South Florida later this week.


Kevin Derby can be reached at


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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