Former Secretary of State John Kerry Endorses Evelyn Farkas for Congress

Monday, February 10, 2020

Elmsford, NY — Today, Evelyn Farkas, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Obama, announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry has endorsed her campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Nita Lowey in New York’s 17th Congressional District.

Kerry, who served as a distinguished Senator from Massachusetts and earned the Democratic party’s presidential nomination in 2004 before his tenure as Secretary of State under Obama, cites his firsthand knowledge of Evelyn’s qualifications.

“I've known Evelyn for sixteen years, ever since I ran for President,” Kerry said. “I've seen her in the Situation Room, where difficult decisions were once made with judgment, values, and expertise—three attributes that define Evelyn. She was a policy foot soldier in my campaign, a senior fellow at the American Security Project (a research organization I co-founded to consider urgent national security issues like climate change), and an impressive policy stand-out in the Administration in which I served.”

Nita’s retirement is leaving big shoes to fill, which is all the more reason to support Evelyn, according to Kerry.

“This is a district that has known a special brand of leadership for a long, long time. Nita Lowey set a high standard. Evelyn can be a powerful voice at a time when America's values are under assault. She's both practical and principled, and the district would be well-served to have her expertise at work in our dangerous world. I don't think you ever tell a New Yorker how to vote, but this is why I'm excited to support Evelyn."

Farkas met then-Senator Kerry in 2004, when she was working as a senior staffer on the Senate Arms Services Committee. Farkas served as deputy chair of the defense volunteer committee during Kerry’s presidential bid. As appointees in the Obama Administration, the two worked together in the Situation Room after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I am truly honored to have the support of Secretary Kerry, whose dedication to this country comes second to no one,” Farkas said. “From his military service in Vietnam to his public service as a Senator of Massachusetts and as Secretary of State, John embodies the values of our country that make people proud to be American.”

The child of Hungarian refugees, Farkas was raised and attended public schools in Chappaqua, New York. For nearly three decades, she has represented the United States in various capacities, defending democracy and advancing human rights. Farkas has been a leading policy and legislative expert in the Defense Department, on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and as executive director of the WMD Commission. She has advised former defense secretaries and senators, including Hillary Clinton. As deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Obama, Evelyn was responsible for U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. After the 2016 election, she stood up to conservative media to publicly denounce President Trump’s corrupt ties to Russia. For the last several years, Evelyn has been a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and German Marshall Fund and a National Security Contributor for NBC/MSNBC. Farkas earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College, where she is a Trustee, and a master’s and Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

New York's 17th Congressional District for the United States House of Representatives is located in the Lower Hudson Valley. It includes all of Rockland County and portions of central and northwestern Westchester County, including Chappaqua, Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Tarrytown, White Plains, Cortlandt, and Yorktown Heights.

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