Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak entered the crowded 2020 presidential race on Sunday, making him the 24th Democrat to announce their bid.
Sestak — who represented sections of Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties until 2011 — announced his candidacy in a video on his website. He used his military experience — a three-star vice admiral in the U.S. Navy — as a springboard for the needed change in the country.
“America is withdrawing from the world behind walls, telling bruised allies left behind, ‘It’s a Wrap,’” he wrote on his website. “Meanwhile, China is knocking down the barriers to its emerging global order to impose its illiberal values of ‘might makes right.’”
Sestak was defeated twice for a U.S. Senate seat. In 2010, he lost to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and by 2016, Sestak was looking for a rematch. Without much support from the Democratic party, he was defeated in the primary by Katie McGinty, a former Pa. environmental secretary. McGinty lost to incumbent Toomey in the 2016 November election.
According to his announcement, the Delaware County native seems to have a continued focus on national security, similar to his 2016 U.S. Senate seat venture. He also explores finding ways to stem climate change on his website.
“It now is truly one world, where destruction by climate change; contraction of our way of life by China; and damage to our national security by corporations will happen no matter what we do, just by ourselves,” he wrote on his website. “We must convene the world for two primary objectives: Putting a brake on climate change and putting an end to an illiberal world order’s injustices.”
He said he delayed his entry into the presidential race while his daughter battled brain cancer, which returned after she first beat it at age 4.
“Throughout this past year, Alex again showed she is stronger than me, heroically beating the single digit odds once more, drawing on the fortitude of her mom,” Sestak said.
Sestak visited an African-American church in Iowa on Sunday morning followed by an appearance at a veterans museum in the state, according to the Washington Post.
Thank you Pastor Morgan and the First Antioch Church for welcoming me in Iowa. I began my day with the warmth of an African American congregation as I often did in Pennsylvania on many Sundays. pic.twitter.com/AzYK8JMxZA
— Joe Sestak (@JoeSestak) June 23, 2019
The Associated Press contributed to this story.