Walter Berbrick was a Democratic candidate in the race for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.

Berbrick is a former Navy intelligence officer. According to his campaign website, he went on to teach at Salve Regina University and the U.S. Naval War College, work in national security roles at the Pentagon and State Department, and serve as senior policy adviser to the secretary of the Navy. He was also a community volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Berbrick lives in Middletown with his family.

Below are Berbrick’s responses to a three-question survey from 12 News:

1. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the country today, and how do you think Congress should address it?

“We are at a defining moment in our nation’s history. Our economy isn’t working for working families. Women have lost their fundamental right to choose. Our communities are engulfed by gun violence. Our planet is in peril. And, we are one wrong decision away from fighting another preventable war. We’ll never be able to truly solve these problems until we fix our biggest problem—our politics.

“I resigned from 15 years of federal service—without a paycheck, personal wealth, or corporate PAC money—because I can no longer watch failed leadership and divisive politics rip away the very freedoms, values, and democracy I’ve spent the last two decades defending. This election provides us, the people of Rhode Island, an opportunity to change that—to channel our fears and frustrations into a better future. All Rhode Islanders deserve a representative in Washington that listens to everyone, has honest conversations and the courage to reach across the aisle to compromise for the common good, and puts the best interests of the people and our country first.

“I’ve done this my entire career and I’ll continue to do just that as your representative in Washington. And if we can do that, there’s no problem that we can’t solve in Congress and as a nation. That’s how we fix our politics. It starts with you, the voter.”

2. What is an under-the-radar issue you are passionate about which you would make one of your priorities in Congress?

“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. I’ve spent the last two decades teaching, writing, and speaking on the local, national, and global implications of an opening Arctic region—stretching from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic, It’s an under-the-radar issue I’m passionate about and will continue to make as one of my top priorities in Congress. It’s here along the northern maritime borders of Russia and the United States where we find a rapidly melting polar ice cap; the shortest maritime trade route linking Asia, Europe and North America; nearly one-third of the world’s untapped hydrocarbons; an increased abundance and distribution of fish and minerals; the historically intense relationship between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the rise of China’s third ocean strategy. With so much riding on one region, it’s easy to see why America’s long-term interest has now turned to its forgotten northern shores.

“The United States is an Arctic nation with a compelling and unique role to play in the region: as a provider of peace and architect of new security arrangements; as an aggressive proponent of economic growth while protecting the environment; as an advocate for indigenous peoples; and as a builder and leader of coalitions to deal with the problems of a rapidly changing ice-free Arctic world. No other nation can play this role. Unlocking America’s potential in the Arctic demands moral courage and a bold new national strategy.”

3. What do you think voters should know about your background that makes you stand out from the other candidates?

“I’m right for Rhode Island right now and I’m ready to lead and get to work for you on day one. I am the only candidate who has dedicated their entire career in public service bringing people together—from the local level to the global level—to deliver real results for this country and community we love.

“Born to working-class parents, I balanced service in the Navy and bartending to finance my master’s and doctorate degrees after 9/11. I’ve spent the past 15 years in key roles at the US Naval War College, State Department, Pentagon, and American Red Cross, bringing leaders together to reach common ground and deliver real results to combat violent extremism, military threats, and climate change.

“At this moment in time, with the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities we face, I am exactly the non-traditional, collaborative, strategic, and bold leader Rhode Islanders need in Washington to make our country and community more affordable, united, and sustainable. I’d be honored to earn your vote and represent you in Washington.”

Visit Berbrick’s campaign website »

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