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Born in 1951, Joseph Sestak graduated with a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 and immediately entered the service, rising to the rank of three-star vice admiral over a career spanning 31 years. He entered politics and served as Representative from Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2011, later making unsuccessful runs for Senate. In 2017 he became president of the STEM education nonprofit First Global, a position he currently holds.
Arms Trade Treaty
Sestak’s position on this issue is unknown.
Arms Sales to Saudi Coalition
Sestak’s position on this issue is unknown. He appears to support limitations on U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, but it is unclear whether he endorses an end to arms sales or military support.
Response to Council on Foreign Relations questionnaire, July 30, 2019
“Especially after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and the horrible war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has made clear that its incoming leader will fail to have the values necessary to change the nation’s illiberal behavior. We must, again, work within and in leadership of a global concord to compel behavior by the Saudis that moves it toward collective interests of a rules-based world order. So much is at stake: oversight of the nuclear power plants it is building; sleight-of-hand support for terrorism; human rights within Saudi Arabia; the chance to have a moderate regime in the center of the Arab world; the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen; changes needed to address climate change; and of course the possibility of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia exploding into conflict. America can help solve these problems, but only if we restore our leadership and build up the rules-based world order.”
Firearms Export Oversight
Sestak’s position on this issue is unknown. He supports banning assault-style weapons domestically, but has not directly addressed broader export oversight rules.
Statement on campaign website, 2019
“I also believe we must once again ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Having served in the armed forces for over thirty years, I know what weapons of war are, and I know that they do not belong in American communities. The horrifying mass shootings of recent years should be all the proof our lawmakers need to finally take action.”