AIVC 2012 US Senate Candidates
Josh Mandel – Ohio, US Senate – US Marine Corps - Iraq Vet
Josh Mandel enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 2000, where he graduated first in his class from Marine Corps Boot Camp and first in his class from Marine Corps Intelligence School. His Marine Corps career spanned eight years, including two tours in Anbar Province, Iraq as an Intelligence Specialist. Mandel served as a State Representative and was elected the 48th Treasurer of the State of Ohio, having been elected as the top vote-getter of all statewide executive candidates, winning 80 of Ohio's 88 counties. Mandel holds a Bachelor Degree from The Ohio State University and a Law Degree from Case Western Reserve University.
AIVC 2012 US House Candidates
Ron DeSantis – Florida’s 6th District – US Navy- Iraq Vet
Ron DeSantis studied, worked and paid his way through Yale University, where he took on every odd job he could find to earn an education. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School while he worked numerous jobs to pay the tuition. After graduation, Ron reported for duty with the U.S. Navy. Ron served our nation in uniform as a JAG prosecutor, and deployed to Iraq as an advisor for a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL counterinsurgency mission. For his sustained performance in Iraq, the Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command awarded him the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service. Ron authored a book on the origin and the importance of America’s founding principles called Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in The Age of Obama.
John House - Georgia's 2nd District - US Army - Desert Storm Vet
Col. John House graduated from Auburn University as a Distinguished Military Graduate, He received a commission as a Field Artillery officer and served in numerous command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, South Korea, and Southwest Asia (Desert Shield and Desert Storm) while serving in a variety of units including the 82d Airborne Division, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 1st Armored Division, 19th Theater Army Area Command, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, and U.S. Army Forces Command. Among other degress Col. House has a Ph.D. in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
Brian Kalk - North Dakota (at-large) - US Marine Corps - Iraq Vet & Desert Storm Vet Brian Kalk served in Desert Storm as an enlisted man before receiving a commission and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an officer. He continued his service to country and community after the military as the state’s Public Service Commissioner. Along the way he managed to earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate. As North Dakota’s Public Service Commissioner, Kalk has worked on utilizing natural resources to provide energy for the state and nation, and balance the needs of consumers, producers, and businesses. Kalk led the fight to stop the “Cap and Trade” bill from becoming law. Earlier this month Kalk won the Republican nomination in a hotly contested five way race. He has also advanced to ‘On the Radar’ in the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Young Guns program.
Stephen Labate - New York's 2nd District - US Army - Iraq Vet
As a member of the Army Reserve, Stephen Labate has been called to active duty three times since the attacks of 9-11. His most recent service was twelve months at the Pentagon as a member of the Army's Crisis Action Team. Labate also served as a Force Protection Officer in one of the most heavily attacked installations in Northern Iraq. In support of Operation Noble Eagle II, Stephen had the distinct honor to command the soldiers of the 306th Military Police Battalion for a year-long mission. He is a graduate of St. John’s University and works in finance in his civilian career.
Patrick Murray - Virginia's 8th District - US Army - Iraq Vet
Patrick Murray is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 24-years of active service. He spent over a decade in numerous positions abroad including tours in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia and Russia. After commanding tank units for seven years, Patrick went on to become a Foreign Area Officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has extensive operational, analytical and policy experience. A Russian speaker, Patrick has worked in various bilateral and multilateral international relations venues, foreign policy, political military affairs, arms control and military-to-military relations. His final tour of duty was at the United Nations in New York as a member of the U.S. Military Staff Committee.
Nick Popaditch – California’s 53rd District – US Marine Corps - Iraq Vet & Desert Storm Vet
Nick Popaditch served in Desert Storm, was decorated for valor on the battlefield in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was the subject of a historic photo taken in Baghdad at the fall of the Saddam Regime. During an intense exchange of firepower, Nick “Gunny Pop” Popaditch was struck in the head by a rocket-propelled grenade and was blinded along with other serious life threatening injuries. In the Spring of 2011, Nick graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University. Along the way, Nick Popaditch wrote his memoir Once a Marine.
Dakota Wood - Oklahoma's 2nd District - US Marine Corps - Iraq Vet
A graduate of the U.S Naval, Dakota Wood completed a 20-year career with the Marines in 2005. During his career, he served with a variety of operational units and in various assignments at Service Headquarters, Regional Combatant Command, and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) levels. Since retiring, Dakota served nearly five years as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington DC, arguably the Nation's premier not-for-profit "think tank" focused on national security and defense matters. There he specialized in studying the evolving operational challenges of land warfare, irregular warfare, complex contingencies under high-technology conditions, and proliferated nuclear environments.