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A nonpartisan campaign group called New Politics is seeking to bring a new perspective to the political landscape of Washington, D.C., and local governments by electing military, AmeriCorps and Peace Corps veterans to be “service-oriented” leaders.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, founder Emily Cherniack stressed the importance of New Politics’ mission to elect leaders intent on upholding values of service, and she explained that she was motivated by what she saw as a broken system of government.
“New Politics was really my response to a broken politics,” Cherniack said when asked to describe the group and its mission. “We are a bipartisan organization that recruits, develops and elects servant leaders — individuals who have answered the call to serve this country through the military, or programs like AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, and that have proven that they will lead with courage, integrity and empathy.”
Cherniack explained that New Politics recruits, supports and develops candidates who have no foothold in politics and lack the knowledge or depth of political connections to know where to start a run for public office. She added that the group really believes they can make a change to the political landscape “by bringing these fresh, service-oriented perspectives of politics from Congress all the way down to statehouses around the country.”
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Cherniack’s first candidate she helped elect to Congress was now-Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., during the 2014 campaign cycle. Moulton previously served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed a number of deployments to the Middle East.
She later helped now-Congressmen Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii, Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., as well as now-Congresswomen Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., who are all former or current members of the military, along with a number of state and local elected officials.
“People who serve in the military start service between the ages of 18 and 25, and those are really formative years for young people. And in that service experience, they’ve learned how to work on diverse teams, they’ve worked with people from different ideologies, they’ve learned how to bring people together and lead them towards a mission greater than themselves,” Cherniack said.
“They also have boots-on-the-ground, problem-solving experiences. And it is these leadership skills that are invaluable in political life. And so we need leaders like that who really also have a country-first framing and can bring that experience, those leadership competencies, to politics,” she added.
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Cherniack detailed the specific services offered by New Politics to their candidates beyond recruiting them to run, including teaching them how to be a candidate, hiring a team, assisting with fundraising, and campaign message development.
She explained that New Politics staff members were unpaid members of a campaign team who remain unbiased and always operate with the best interests of the candidate in mind.
“We are a mentor and a coach and an adviser to candidates for whatever they need. We really customize the service because every campaign and candidate is really different, and we’re really there to be helpful in whatever way they need us to be and really are there throughout the entire life cycle of a candidate,” she said.
Additionally, New Politics stays with a candidate even after they are elected in order to assist them with the transition into whatever office they’ll be taking on. Cherniack said this practice came about following Moulton’s initial victory in 2014.
“After the election, I was like, ‘See ya. I’m going to go recruit other people.’ And I never worked in politics, so I had no idea what happens after an election. And Seth called me two days later, and he said, ‘You know, I have to hire 18 people and I have no idea how to do that,’” she said.
“He asked me to come back and help him lead a process around hiring, and I had no idea that a congressman had to, in like two months, set up an entire office and hire 16 to 18 people. That’s a lot of work,” she added.
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A majority of New Politics’ clients are Democrats, however, Cherniack insisted that the group doesn’t take policy stances or positions on ideaology.
“For us, we’re really focused on talent and leadership, and we recruit the most transformative servant leaders to run for office. And policymaking — we trust that if we recruit and get these talented leaders into office that they will work together to really come up with policies. So, it’s not for us to decide on what policy is,” she said.
“We don’t think that any political party has a monopoly on servant leadership and that we need leaders on both sides of the aisle to get elected and to put the country first. We really focus on talent and who is running,” she later added.
Cherniack went on to detail how the organization was run through a raised organizational budget that pays for the operating costs of the team, which, for now, consists of 17 employees who split the duties of recruiting and campaign work.
She said that the organization has 150 candidates that they’re working with for the 2022 midterm election cycle, but she hoped to have that number between 500 and 1,000 in future cycles.
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“I think for us at New Politics our goal is to continue to create greater impact and get more servant leaders into office who can do what’s best for our country and move our country forward,” she said. “The more we can help our candidates, the more impact we can make.”