In these dark times for our Nation, there are silver linings to be found and a strong momentum in the quality of men and women running for public office. Today, there are more Veterans running for national office than in any other cycle over the last decade. If anyone understands how to turn our country around through service before self, it’s a Veteran.

It’s a sad reality that less than 20% of our current Congress has served in the military – but we hope to change that at The Guardian Fund. Just a few decades ago, that total was 70%, and it is our priority to support more conservative Veterans and minorities across the country who will fight for what is right and lead with conviction.

As chairman of The Guardian Fund and as someone who served in the Marine Corps for 40 years, I understand the unique skill sets that our men and women in uniform bring to public service and the importance of recruiting more individuals of their moral caliber to run for office. Those who have served our Nation know what it takes to win and know how to stand for the conservative bedrock principles which built our country and made us prosperous.

With our current abysmal state of affairs, dereliction of duty among our Nation’s leaders runs concerningly deep. That’s why I am hopeful for a new Congress with a fresh generation of conservative leaders, especially those whom The Guardian Fund has found to answer the call. I have every confidence that our Veteran candidates who have stepped up in this critical election cycle to serve the United States in a new capacity will bring the same dedication and grit to Congress that they exhibited in the military.

Infusing our legislative branch with conservative minority and military leaders is the antidote to the insidious trend of self-aggrandizement and selfish ambition in Congress. The Guardian Fund was proud to endorse nearly 100 candidates – 74 Veterans, 26 minorities, and 7 minority Veterans – a diverse group of loyal, selfless, and astute leaders who bring both the unique perspective of military and minority conservatism to the table.

Democrats relentlessly attempt to box minorities and Veterans in their ideological encampments, maligning them when they dare to venture into free-thinking territory. It’s important, then, for The Guardian Fund to empower these candidates to vocalize their experiences and to coalesce for America first principles.

With this historically large class of minority and Veteran candidates in the midterm election cycle, I believe we are seeing a fundamentally positive shift in the quality of our country’s leaders and a return to fiscally and socially conservative policies which will right our sinking ship.