Ken Harbaugh, Ohio Congressional Candidate & Former Navy Pilot (Ep. 11)

If anyone can rise to the challenge of running for Congress for the first time in a deep-red Ohio district, it’s former Navy pilot Ken Harbaugh. Despite the fact that most of Ken’s neighbors voted for Trump, and even his own parents did as well, he is confident he has a message that will resonate — his commitment to putting service above self.

Ken Harbaugh

On Episode 11 of Next Gen Dem, Ken and I discuss how his military service has made him uniquely qualified to bridge the divide in politics, the perception of Trump among veterans, and how he balances being a parent with his pursuit of elected office. Ken even has a very novel suggestion for how to bring Congress together and get people working across party lines again.

After serving as a pilot in the Navy for close to a decade, where he flew reconnaissance missions in the Middle East and North Korea, Ken left the military to pursue a law degree at Yale. Most recently Ken served as President and COO of Team Rubicon Global, an organization providing veterans around the world with opportunities to serve others in the wake of disasters.

Quote of the episode:

“I lost an engine during a mission. And I don’t remember turning to my co-pilot and asking or wondering if this guy is a Democrat or a Republican, or checking my flight engineer’s pedigree to see whether he was progressive or conservative. I remember working together as a team to get that plane down safely and making sure everyone got home.”

For more information on Ken, please visit

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