Claire Russo is a Democrat and Marine Corps veteran running for Congress in Virginia’s 5th District

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Why I’m Running

I was born a patriot. When I was six years old, I hung an American flag over my bed. I tagged along to sporting events with my cousins just to hear the national anthem. By the time I was a teenager I knew I wanted to be a Marine — I wanted to defend the country I loved so much, to be one of the people running towards the fight when others were running away.

Now, I’m running for Congress because I’ve spent my life serving this country, and as a patriot, it has never been more important to stand up and speak truth to power — whether it’s insurance companies and big drug companies trying to gouge consumers, corporate lobbyists who always want bigger tax breaks for themselves, or the gun lobby that resists common sense gun safety laws.

We need leaders who understand what’s at stake for families in this district. After 16 years of active duty service, my husband Josh and I still worry about how to pay our medical bills for our family of five. My daughter worries about the weapons of war my husband carries on the battlefield coming into her classroom. These issues and more are on the ballot, while too many politicians put partisan politics ahead of what’s best for the country.

I’ve never shied away from the tough fights, from mapping out Al Qaeda networks in Iraq to taking on the military bureaucracy on issues like sexual assault — and winning.

The people of Virginia’s Fifth District deserve a Representative who will take on the tough fights for them. In Congress, you can count on me to fight for access and delivery to affordable, quality health care, making our communities safe from gun violence, and fostering real economic opportunity for the people in this district.

As a Marine, I was trained to run toward the fight. That’s what I’m doing now, I’m running toward the fight, and I would be honored to have you run with me.

Claire Russo