Shuttleworth, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) in the 2012 Democratic primary, announced tonight that he’s running in this year’s sure-to-be crowded Democratic primary. The announcement follows the news Wednesday morning that the 12-term Congressman is not running for reelection.
Shuttleworth, a 48-year-old Navy veteran, has declared himself a “diversity candidate” and said in a statement that he is “a fighter pilot and a feminist.”
“I don’t think that women have been treated equally throughout history,” he told ARLnow.com. “I think we’d be in much better position if we did treat women more equally and if more women were in positions of power.”
“I’m completely for equal rights in all things, no one is more pro-choice than I am,” he said, adding that he would fight for equal pay for women if elected to Congress.
On issues like sexual assault in the military, Shuttleworth said ”it’s going to be the men who have to take a decisive, bold leadership role in making sure people know it’s not okay to mistreat any minority, most especially women.”
“I will be the loudest voice in the land for equal rights for all minorities to include our transgender brothers and sisters,” he said in the statement. ”I cannot be more committed to being anti-bullying.”
Shuttleworth said he himself was bullied while a student leader at the Naval Academy. The bullying stemmed from at time at when he reported classmates having a drinking party in a room next door, a serious offense at the school. After that, Shuttleworth said, he was “threatened with bodily harm,” broken light bulbs were placed in his bed and his car was vandalized. The bullying followed him “for years,” even while in naval service, but Shuttleworth said he would do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.
“[I] take ethics and integrity incredibly seriously, and that’s the same kind of integrity i’m going to bring to the United States Congress,” he said, later calling
Congress “an institution that has failed America.”
The full statement from Shuttleworth, after the jump.
As a straight white married father, it may come as a surprise that I am considered a diversity candidate.
I’m a Fighter Pilot and a Feminist and I believe that it is the behavior of men more than women that will determine the quickest path to equal rights.
I’m a Naval Academy and West Point graduate who knows what it is like to be bullied. I have roomed with at least two gay midshipmen and I will be the loudest voice in the land for equal rights for all minorities to include our transgender brothers and sisters who remain outside a proper embrace. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a dishonest disgrace for which our national security, and our emphasis for honesty, suffered. And, of course, there is no defense for the Defense of Marriage Act.
I’m a Harvard Business School Graduate who thinks that greed is not good and that effective government oversight is a critical check to Wall Street and Big Business that too often prioritizes the short-term and puts profits above ethics when they must go together.
I have served to defend not just Americans, but also those who aspire to be Americans and I think the least we can do is pass the Dream Act. The best we can do is put policies in place that will enable us to “tear down that wall”. An expensive and oftentimes ineffective barrier between two countries at peace with each other has costs that can’t be quantified in dollars and cents alone.
I have flown over the world’s most hostile terrain with some of our country’s deadliest weapons, and I am convinced I was safer there than I would be on the ground of too many of our gun-laden streets of America. Clearly, we are not “well-regulated” enough.
I owe my life to the unequaled professionalism and investment in our Armed Forces – 1,700 hours flying with bombs, bullets and jet fuel make me incredibly thankful for the quality of our military contractors, servicemen and women. Yet I am acutely aware of the limitations of the influence of our Armed Forces. The truth is we are much better at breaking than making things. I am certain that our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” can be stronger with a marked shift in priorities.