The Story Behind One Young Veteran Political Candidate

In 2022, more than one-fifth of the 1,000 candidates for the U.S. Senate, House, or state governor on the fall ballot stated they had some form of military experience, per the Pew Research Center. And it makes sense. The leadership experiences in the military, combined with the consequences of political decisions that directly impact those in the military, can be largely influential in a veteran’s decision to run for office.

Why, though, would such a young veteran who is only 38 years old, decide to run for the 14th Congressional District of Illinois?

On today’s episode of Send the Marine to Congress, host Ron J. Stefanski speaks with Matt Leiv, AI Consultant and Strategic Advisor to several AI startups and candidate for the 14th District of the Illinois Congress, to discuss why Leiv decided it was time to serve the country in a different way by running for Congress.

Military involvement isn’t unfamiliar territory to members of the House of Representatives. In fact, currently, there are 82 House of Representative Members who are veterans, and Leiv hopes to become the 83rd.

“I can keep focusing on myself or I can stand up and step up again like I did previously and go to contribute back to the country,” Leiv explained.

Stefanski and Leiv also discussed…

  1. Why Leiv decided to serve the country on the political front after serving on the military front
  2. Leiv’s thoughts on the Trump campaign and his own plans for his political campaign
  3. How his young age will fare amongst the older population of Congressional seat holders

Leiv stated, “The true conservative values—what it really comes down to—is smaller federal government, less interference in people’s lives, keeping the government as lean as possible in order to carry out policies that protect and preserve our liberties and freedoms. We’ve gone very far away from that. We’ve let it creep, over the years, quite a bit into a large, overwhelming government where you can see not just the deficit, but the trade deficit and the overall lack of reduction in the deficit.”

Matt Leiv is an Advisor to SN Investing LLC and Leap Inc. and is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he was a Sergeant, Infantry Combat Squat Leader and Corporal, Infantry Team Leader Special Operations. He is also Associate Consultant at Moovance and has served as an AI consultant for multiple companies. Leiv earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and USC Marshall School of Business. He also has an AS in Business Administration and Management from Fullerton College and studied Fire Science at Western Oregon University.

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