Earlysville, VA – Today, Marine Corps veteran Claire Russo announced her campaign to represent Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Russo, a Democrat, is running against Congressman Denver Riggleman because she believes Virginians deserve a representative who will push aside partisan politics and work to get results for her community.
“I’m running for Congress because I believe there are far too many political games being played in Washington and far too few people standing up for families like ours,” said Russo. “As a Marine, my focus was getting the job done and I’ll bring that same focus to represent our community. That means ensuring quality affordable health care, protecting retirement for seniors, and working to make sure our kids have the same opportunities that we did.”
Claire Russo joined the Marines Corps at 23 and served as an Intelligence Officer serving in the First Marine Expeditionary Force and the First Marine Air Wing. She deployed to Fallujah, Iraq where she led a team of Marines targeting insurgent networks.
Following her sexual assault by a Marine aviator in 2004, Claire took on the military bureaucracy to make sure her attacker was prosecuted and jailed. Since then, Claire has been an advocate for women’s equality in the military.
Claire continued her service after the Marines, working as a civilian with the Army. In this capacity, she deployed to Afghanistan and served as a counter insurgency adviser to the infantry. Following her work with the Army, Claire served on General Petraeus’s counter insurgency advisory team where she evaluated the training and employment of female engagement teams and their support of special operations forces in Afghanistan.
After returning home, Claire worked as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow studying the role of women in combat and conflicts.
In various capacities, Claire Russo has dedicated her life to serving her country and her community. Raised in Virginia, Claire resides in Earlysville with her three children, Genevieve, Adelle, and Orion. Claire’s husband Josh is an Army Special Forces Officer currently deployed overseas.