Mike Pence on War & Peace

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)


Trump supports and reveres the troops

PENCE: My son is in captain in the United States Marine Corps. My son-in-law's deployed in the United States Navy. I can assure all of you with sons and daughters serving in our military, President Donald Trump, not only respects, but reveres all of those who serve in our armed forces and any suggestion, otherwise is ridiculous. Let me also say the American people deserve to know-

HARRIS: There was a counter strike on our troops in Iraq, and they suffered serious brain injuries, and do you know what Donald Trump dismissed them as? Headaches. This is a pattern where he referred to our men who are serving as suckers and losers. Public reporting said Russia had bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Donald Trump had talked at least six times to Vladimir Putin and never brought up the subject.

Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah , Oct 7, 2020

Taliban committed to oppose terrorists; now hard work begins

Q: Shouldn't the Taliban agree to renounce al Qaeda before the U.S. withdraws?

PENCE: The agreement represents a historic step forward on the path to peace. I wouldn't gainsay what the Taliban has literally put in writing. It is the first time ever that they have been willing to commit publicly to oppose the presence of al Qaeda in their region. They have made a commitment to oppose the presence of terrorist elements and organizations using Afghanistan to launch attacks. Now the hard work begins.

Source: CNN "State of the Union" on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 1, 2020

Grateful Trump is always focused on safety of troops

I have to tell you as the father of the United States Marine, I couldn't be more grateful that we have a commander in chief that is always asking about whether American forces have to be in harm's way. ISIS the caliphate had been destroyed so the president said we'll bring them home. But last night, the president proved to the world that our fight against ISIS is unrelenting. By killing the leader of ISIS, we believe we'll have a measurable impact on that terrorist organization.
Source: CBS Face the Nation on 2020 Veepstakes , Oct 27, 2019

2001: Saddam Hussein is a threat to our national security

On October 26, 2001, staff dusting found trace amounts of anthrax in Pence's office: they had to shut down and relocate while the building was on lockdown. The nation was on edge.

Shortly before the House was set to vote on whether to authorize Bush to send troops to Iraq, Pence threw his support behind Bush. "I grieve at the thought of the United States at war and am not anxious to see it." Pence said. But Saddam Hussein is a threat to national security and to world security." Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly banded together in the House and Senate to give Bush the power to declare war on Iraq. On March 20, 2003 the US invaded Iraq, just 18 months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and shunted the effort in Afghanistan aside. And Mike Pence, like the rest of Washington, was 100 percent on board.

Source: Piety & Power, by Tom LoBianco, p.124-5 , Sep 14, 2019

Iran will not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons

The president's message to Iran is very clear, that we're not going to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, and we're not going to stand by while Iran continues to sow malign influence across the region. Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 interview , Jun 23, 2019

North Korea must abandon its nuclear ambitions

"But the era of strategic patience is over," he declared. "President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change. We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable."
Source: PBS Newshour "North Korea," on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 17, 2019

Increase defense spending, launch Space Force

We're modernizing our nuclear arsenal, updating missile defense, and President Trump will launch the sixth branch of our armed forces, the United States Space Force. We'll make sure that America is as dominant in space as we are on land and air and sea. So, we're rebuilding our military, we're restoring the arsenal of democracy, and we're once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe.
Source: White House press release, "Remarks at CPAC 2019" , Mar 1, 2019

Progress toward denuclearization & peace on Korean Peninsula

Q: Is diplomacy stalled on North Korea?

PENCE: We're making progress restoring American strength in the world, seeing the opportunity for peace emerge on the Korean Peninsula. We're expecting a letter from Kim Jong-un communicating his reaffirmation of his commitment to denuclearization. No more nuclear tests. No more missile tests. Our hostages are home. That's all the result of the President's leadership.

Q: But the Secretary of State called off his visit?

PENCE: The President canceled the meeting a week ago because he wasn't seeing enough progress in denuclearization that that may well have resulted in what Kim Jong-un communicated to a South Korean envoy just last week, and we're anticipating the letter from Kim Jong-un and all the while our sanctions remain in place.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Sep 9, 2018

America stands up to North Korea and murderous dictatorships

You know, for all the media fawning over the sister of the North Korean dictator, I think it's important that every American knows who this person is and what she's done. The sister of Kim Jong-un is a central pillar of the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet--an evil family clique that brutalizes, subjugates, starves, and imprisons its 25 million people. I say: The United States of America doesn't stand with murderous dictatorships. We stand up to murderous dictatorships. And we will keep standing strong until North Korea stops threatening our country, our allies, or until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missiles once and for all.
Source: Speech at the 2018 CPAC Convention , Feb 22, 2018

All options are on the table for Iranian nukes

Q: Hasn't President Trump issued, in effect, his own red line on Iran? And if they continue with missile test, how far is the president willing to go to try to stop them?

PENCE: Well, all options are on the table. The Iranians will do well to look at the calendar and recognize that we've got a new president in the Oval Office. That disastrous nuclear deal that the last administration entered into with Iran should have encouraged better behavior by the Iranians. But instead, what we see, they're flouting U.N. Security Council resolutions, banning ballistic missile test or whether it'd be the way they're arming of Houthis in Yemen who just last week attacked a Saudi Arabian ship. What we're seeing here is hostile action, belligerent action being supported by or taken by the Iranians. And we're just not going to put up with it anymore.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2017 interview by Chris Wallace , Feb 5, 2017

Economic sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile tests

Q: The President took executive action on Iran, imposing new sanctions; and General Flynn said, "Iran is on notice." What does that mean?

PENCE: It means, we're watching.

Q: What are we watching for?

PENCE: It means Iran would do well to look at the calendar and realize there's a new president. And Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president.

Q: What would testing the resolve be?

PENCE: The ballistic missile tests last week were in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. That's why the president took the decisive action to impose economic sanctions on their supply chain for their missile program. But let's also recognize that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are fully subsidized by Iran.

Q: That might require military action? President said, "Everything's on the table."

PENCE: The Iranians got a deal from the international community that the president and I and our administration think was a terrible deal. We're evaluating that as we speak.

Source: ABC This Week 2017 interview by George Stephanopoulos , Jan 15, 2017

FactCheck: Pence says pressure Assad; Trump focuses on ISIS

Q: What would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.

TRUMP: He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree.

Q: You disagree with your running mate?

TRUMP: I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS We have people that want to fight both at the same time.

[OnTheIssues note: Russia & the Assad regime are bombing both ISIS & the Syrian rebels; the US is bombing ISIS but supports the Syrian rebels].

TRUMP: But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it's Iran, who [Hillary] made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation. I believe we have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved.

Source: OnTheissues FactCheck on Second 2016 Presidential Debate , Oct 9, 2016

Back at war in Iraq because we didn't leave enough forces

After Clinton traveling millions of miles as our Secretary of State, after she being the architect of the foreign policy of this administration, America is less safe today than it was the day that Obama became president. It's absolutely inarguable. We've weakened the US's place in the world. It's been a combination of factors, but mostly it's been a lack of leadership. I will give you [the killing of bin Laden]. Osama bin Laden led Al Qaida. Our primary threat today is ISIS. Because Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement that would have allowed some American combat troops to remain in Iraq and secure the hard fought gains the American soldier had won, ISIS was able to be conjured up out of the desert, and it's overrun vast areas that the American soldier had won. Because Clinton and Obama failed to provide a status of forces agreement and leave sufficient troops in there, we are back at war.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Protect civilians in Aleppo by enforcing Safe Zones

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: The United States of America needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizens in Aleppo. What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo. There's a broad range of other things that we ought to do, as well [to pressure Russia, such as] to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Protect civilians in Aleppo by enforcing Safe Zones

Q: 250,000 people-100,000 of them children--are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to prevent mass casualties on this scale?

PENCE: The United States of America needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizens in Aleppo. What America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo. There's a broad range of other things that we ought to do, as well [to pressure Russia, such as] to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Iran deal delivered $400M as ransom to terrorist sponsor

PENCE: I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions literally in the history of the United States, against Iran. We were bringing them to heel, but the goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran permanently renounced their nuclear ambitions.They have not renounced their nuclear ambitions. And when the deal's period runs out, there's no limitation on them obtaining weapons. We delivered $400 million in cash as a ransom payment for Americans held by the radical mullahs in Tehran.

KAINE: Let me tell you what will really make the Middle East dangerous. Donald Trump's idea that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. Ronald Reagan said something about nuclear proliferation in the 1980s. He said the problem is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event. I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is, exactly who Governor Reagan warned us about.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Peace with North Korea through US strength

Q: How would you prevent North Korea from developing a nuclear-armed missile?

PENCE: We need to rebuild our military, including modernizing our nuclear forces. We need an effective American diplomacy that will marshal the resources of nations in the Asian Pacific Rim to put pressure on North Korea, on Kim Jong-un, to abandon his nuclear ambitions. When Donald Trump is president, we're not going to have the world flouting American power. We're going back to the days of peace through strength.

KAINE: You asked the question about how deal with a North Korea. I'm on the Foreign Relations Committee. We just did an extensive sanctions package against North Korea. The U.N. followed and did this -- virtually the same package. Often China will use their veto in the Security Council to veto a package like that. They're starting to get worried about North Korea, too. So they actually supported the sanctions package, even though many of the sanctions are against Chinese firms.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton left Americans in harm's way in Benghazi

Mike Pence said, "It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm's way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said: 'What difference, at this point, does it make?' "

THE FACTS: At no point has Clinton said--or even implied--that it makes no difference whether Americans died in the Benghazi attacks. Clinton's well-known quote came at a January 2013 Senate hearing when she was pressed about the motive for the attack. Her point was that it was less important to understand the reason for the attack than in knowing what to do about it. Republicans have persistently criticized the Obama administration for initially and wrongly blaming the attack on an anti-US protest.

Whether Clinton as secretary of state acted properly in that crisis is a matter of enduring debate. But she was not, as Pence suggested, cold about the fact that Americans died.

Source: ABC News Fact-Check on 2016 Republican National Convention , Jul 21, 2016

Military action to crush ISIS

A Donald Trump-Mike Pence administration will "support military action to crush ISIS," Pence said. "We've got to exercise the full strength of the United States of America," Pence told Fox News, "diplomatically and militarily.

"This is a military enemy," he said of the Islamic State. "What happened in Orlando, what just happened in Nice--these are terrorist attacks that are inspired by a military organization. We have to recognize that we are in a struggle."

In his first major interview since Trump's announcement on who would get the No. 2 slot, Pence said that "we have to recognize and speak plainly about the impact and the influence of radical Islam. But let's focus on the enemy. The enemy is ISIS. We know where they are. It's a metastasized version of Islam that is radical Islam that's being used as a justification for simply a power grab in the region," the governor said. "That's what this caliphate is."

Source: Newsmax.com, "Military Action," on 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 15, 2016

Supported Iraq war and sending more US troops there in 2007

Pence, near the beginning of his 12-year tenure in the U.S. House, voted for the resolution authorizing the 2003 Iraq invasion. Pence, who chaired the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, was also a prominent backer of the 2007 "surge" strategy sending more U.S. troops to the faltering effort in Iraq, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the time that "the surge is working" while also defending the original decision to invade despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction.
Source: CNN.com 2016 Veepstakes, "Pence foreign policy" , Jul 15, 2016

Afghanistan is and will continue to be a NATO and US success

Q: General Petraeus has been concerned about the redeployment of some of the troops in Iraq to Afghanistan. Do you share his anxiety about that?

PENCE: I really do. You know, Afghanistan is going to have its own challenges. And there's concern right now that there may be something of a counteroffensive by the Taliban this spring. And so some Marines are being transferred into the southwest provinces.

Q: Do you think the NATO and US forces are ready to deal with that?

PENCE: Our military personnel are not going to be surprised. The Taliban has already been operating with military violence in about 10% of the provinces. They see it coming, but look, Afghanistan is and will continue to be an extraordinary American and NATO success. Iraq right now is going in the right direction, but the fight is far from over.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: discussion on Afghanistan , Mar 9, 2008

Voted YES on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.

RESOLUTION Declaring that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of US Armed Forces in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.
    The House of Representatives makes the following statements of policy:
  1. The US Armed Forces shall be used exclusively to defend and advance the national security interests of the US.
  2. The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon US national security interests for current US military activities regarding Libya.
  3. The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the US Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger.
The President shall transmit a report describing in detail US security interests and objectives, and the activities of US Armed Forces, in Libya since March 19, 2011, including a description of the following:
  1. The President's justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya.
  2. US political and military objectives regarding Libya, including the relationship between the intended objectives and the operational means being employed to achieve them.
  3. Changes in US political and military objectives following the assumption of command by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  4. Differences between US political and military objectives regarding Libya and those of other NATO member states engaged in military activities.
  5. The specific commitments by the US to ongoing NATO activities regarding Libya.
  6. The anticipated scope and duration of continued US military involvement in Libya.
  7. The costs of military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.
Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the US States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.
Reference: Resolution on Libya; Bill HRes294 ; vote number 11-HV410 on Jun 3, 2011

Voted NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This vote is on referring the impeachment resolution to a Congressional Committee to decide further action (not on impeachment itself).

Congressional Summary: Resolved, That President George W. Bush be impeached for committing the following abuses of power:

Proponents' arguments for voting YEA: Rep. Kucinich: Now is the time for this Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war, just as we must work to bring our troops home. This resolution is a very serious matter and I urge the Committee on Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz: Impeachment is a lengthy process which would divide Congress and this nation even more deeply than we are divided right now. Referring this resolution to the House Judiciary Committee is the constitutionally appropriate process that should be pursued.

Rep. Ron Paul: I rise, reluctantly, in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration, which essentially directs the committee to examine the issue more closely than it has done to this point.

Reference: The Kucinich Privilege Resolution; Bill H.RES.1258 ; vote number 2008-401 on Jun 11, 2008

Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days.

To provide for the redeployment of US Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq. Requires within 90 days to commence the redeployment; and to complete such redeployment within 180 days after its commencement. Prohibits the use of DOD funds to increase the number of US forces serving in Iraq in excess of the number serving in Iraq as of January 1, 2007, unless specifically authorized by Congress. Authorizes retaining in Iraq US forces for providing security for diplomatic missions; for targeting al-Qaeda; and for training Iraqi Security Forces. Requires the President to transfer to the government of Iraq all interest held by the US in any military facility in Iraq.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This war is a terrible tragedy, and it is time to bring it to an end. This is a straightforward bill to redeploy our military forces from Iraq and to end the war in Iraq. This bill does not walk away from the Iraqi people. It specifically continues diplomatic, social, economic, and reconstruction aid. Finally, this bill leaves all the decisions on the locations outside of Iraq to which our troops will be redeployed wholly in the hands of our military commanders.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This legislation embraces surrender and defeat. This legislation undermines our troops and the authority of the President as commander in chief. Opponents express concern about the effects of an ill-conceived military withdrawal, and about any legislation that places military decisions in the hands of politicians rather than the military commanders in the field. The enemy we face in Iraq view this bill as a sign of weakness. Now is not the time to signal retreat and surrender. It is absolutely essential that America, the last remaining superpower on earth, continue to be a voice for peace and a beacon for freedom in our shrinking world.

Reference: Out of Iraq Caucus bill; Bill H R 2237 ; vote number 2007-330 on May 10, 2007

Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date.

Reference: Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror; Bill HRES 861 ; vote number 2006-288 on Jun 12, 2006

Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops.

States that the House of Representatives:
  1. affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;
  2. commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;
  3. commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and
  4. commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
Reference: War in Iraq Anniversary resolution; Bill H Res 557 ; vote number 2004-64 on Mar 17, 2004

Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq.

Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq: Passage of the joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the US military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. It would be required that the president report to Congress, no later than 48 hours after using force, his determination that diplomatic options or other peaceful means would not guarantee US national security against Iraq or allow enforcement of UN resolutions and that using force is consistent with anti-terrorism efforts. The resolution would also give specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution. Every 60 days the president would also be required to report to Congress on actions related to the resolution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert,R-IL; Bill HJRes114 ; vote number 2002-455 on Oct 10, 2002

Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.

Pence co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution expressing solidarity with Israel:

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 02-HR392 on Apr 18, 2002

Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.

Pence co-sponsored strengthening sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition

A bill to strengthen sanctions against the Government of Syria, to enhance multilateral commitment to address the Government of Syria's threatening policies, to establish a program to support a transition to a democratically-elected government in Syria.

Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (S2917/HR2332) 08-S2917 on Apr 24, 2008

Support the completion of the US mission in Iraq.

Pence co-sponsored supporting the completion of the US mission in Iraq

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States mission in Iraq. Expresses the sense of the Senate that:

  1. Congress should ensure that General David Petraeus have the necessary resources to carry out their mission in Iraq; and
  2. the government of Iraq must make visible progress toward meeting the political, economic, and military benchmarks enumerated in this Resolution.
Source: S.RES.70 & H.RES.150 2007-SR70 on Feb 5, 2007

Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

Pence signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act

    Expresses the sense of Congress that:
  1. diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;
  2. US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
  3. the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship.
    States that it should be US policy to:
  1. support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
  2. encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;
  3. impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
  4. work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups.
Source: S.908&HR.2194 2009-S908 on Apr 30, 2009

Other candidates on War & Peace: Mike Pence on other issues:
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Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

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Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
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Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
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Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

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State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
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Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
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