It is only fitting on Veterans Day, when we celebrate and remember those who have worn our nation’s uniform, to remind San Diegans there is only one obvious choice to represent the 52nd District in Congress.

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We have a unique opportunity to elect the type of courageous leader who doesn’t come along often: a man of character, integrity and with proven leadership skills. Kirk Jorgensen is that leader.

Unlike so many of the current members of Congress, Jorgensen wore his nation’s uniform as a Marine for more than a decade.

He’s fought terrorism and genocide, and commanded brave men and women in missions around the globe to protect our freedoms.

Most Americans know Marines live by a code, one of honor, courage and commitment. But Marines, like all members of the U.S. Armed Forces, are taught to stay away from partisan politics.

Think about it. The military is rightfully held to a higher standard of conduct, giving peace of mind to the American people that our armed forces aren’t politicized.

Instead, our men and women in uniform are taught to work together toward a common goal.

Jorgensen embodies this training and intends to work in Washington with members of both parties to solve the enormous challenges facing our great nation. He knows that divisive language and rhetoric don’t solve problems. Discussions and compromise do.

Unlike two other candidates in this race, Jorgensen has never held public office. But he’s served the American public his entire adult life, not only as a Marine Corps officer, but also as a trained CIA case officer in charge of fighting terrorism. He’s a political outsider, a man of courage and impeccable character.

Two of the other candidates, Republican Carl DeMaio and Democrat Scott Peters, are mere political survivors. Both men go from election to election, seeking positions paid for by the taxpayers. They are men in search of the next government job, with no real purpose. They are professional politicians.

DeMaio’s claim to fame is losing his mayoral bid for what was a traditionally a Republican’s job, in a traditionally Republican city. That’s not an impressive track record.

DeMaio says he’s a Republican, but as the author of this Voice of San Diego op-ed on Peters correctly identifies, DeMaio’s stances on many issues closely mirror those of Peters’.

During his freshman term in Congress, Peters hasn’t done anything meaningful to distinguish himself. It’s as if he went to Washington and disappeared.

America needs new leadership. Jorgensen is a leader. He’s a man with a purpose. He will join with the other combat veterans who serve in the 114th Congress and work to protect and defend the Constitution. Jorgensen is the man we need to send to Washington to represent our district.

Joseph R. John is a retired U.S. Navy captain. John’s commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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