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Special Operations for America (SOFA) today announced it will support the candidacy of General Mark Bircher for Congress in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

SOFA cited General Bircher’s conservative values and principled commitment to reducing out-of-control spending and opposing Obamacare, as well as the decline of veterans in Congress as among its reasons for supporting Bircher. In the 1970’s, veterans made up more than three-fourths of the U.S House and Senate. But since then, the number of veterans in Congress has declined to 20 percent of both chambers.

“We need more leaders in Congress who have worn the uniform of the armed forces and know from personal experience what it means to defend the Constitution of the United States,” said Gary Stubblefield, SOFA’S chairman and a former Navy SEAL.

The recent cut to military retirement pay in the budget may not have happened if there were more veterans in Congress.

Bircher is a U.S Naval Academy graduate who was commissioned a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant and served on active duty and as a reservist from 1971 until 2009. He retired as a Brigadier General. He is running in the March 11 special election to replace the late Congressman C.W. Bill Young. Bircher faces two opponents in the January 14 Republican primary, lobbyist David Jolly and State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

Said Stubblefield: “We have enough lobbyists and politicians in Washington. What Florida needs is the perspective that only Mark Bircher brings to the race as a military leader who believes in individual freedom, limited government and free enterprise.”

Stubblefield noted that as the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Rep. Young was an effective advocate for military spending in the district and throughout Florida and that General Bircher will uphold that tradition.