Army vet motivated in part by chaotic Afghanistan exit seeks to become GOP’s youngest congressman

An Afghanistan veteran named Orlando Sonza at age 32 is looking to win a seat in Ohio and become the youngest elected Republican in Congress.

The son of Filipino immigrants and a West Point graduate, he is also a father of four and a staunch conservative.

The young GOP firebrand is running against Democrat Greg Landsman who unseated a GOP incumbent in the last election. They are locked in a battle for a swing district in suburban Cincinnati.

Sonza told the Daily Mail that minority families such as his are fed up with political extremism on both sides. He is just one of the impressive diverse candidates that Republicans are promoting early in the election cycle.

“I think what you’re seeing now again, are Americans – in large part minority Americans – don’t ascribe to the polarization of politics,” Sonza asserted.

I think it’s the principles behind conservatism,” Sonza commented concerning the recent trend among historically Democratic Asian Americans who have been voting for Republicans in recent elections.

“I think the conservative movement – the principle being portrayed by the other side – it’s equal outcomes versus equal opportunity, the role of big government in our daily lives, which then impacts individual liberty and the ability to change your life’s story through your own hard work and dedication,” he remarked.

Sonza met his wife attending West Point and he served four years in the Army. He went back to school for accounting and worked on taxes for the firm Ernst and Young. The young conservative went on to earn a law degree and became a prosecutor in Hamilton County.

At West Point, I majored in comparative politics and minored in systems engineering, but more importantly, I learned what leadership is all about. ‘Duty. Honor. Country’ is the West Point motto. It was at the Academy where I developed a strong sense of duty to serve the public, and I knew that I wanted to devote my life to making a positive impact,” Sonza notes on his campaign site.

“My experiences at West Point taught me that leadership is not just about taking charge and giving orders. It’s about leading by example and putting the needs of others before your own. I learned that true leaders are those who are committed to serving others and making a difference in their communities. It was at West Point where I was blessed to meet my wife, Jessica, a fellow Academy grad, and someone who shares my commitment to public service,” he added.

“After graduation, Jessica and I both served our country as officers in the U.S. Army. I served on active duty as an Infantry Officer and Finance Officer with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Jessica served alongside me as a Human Resources Officer. It was a challenging and rewarding experience for both of us, but it ingrained in us the importance of leadership, discipline, and service,” the site continues.

Now that he has stepped into the political arena, Sonza is going after his opponent with vigor, showing that he is a fighter in more ways than one.

“My opponent is someone that appears to be more interested in attention-grabbing headlines, like posing shirtless on the front page of The Cincinnati Enquirer to show off his personal tattoos than serious leadership that seeks to really solve the complex problems impacting our nation, and I intend to fully drive that contrasting message,” he told the Daily Mail.

Sonza is in part motivated by President Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan. When Kabul fell to the Taliban, he claims it caused great “heartache” for him and his wife.

He stated that the “rushed” withdrawal sent a terrible message to the families of the 2,400 Americans who lost their lives in sacrifice to their county, telling them it was all in vain.

“The message that we sent to those brave men and women who were prepared to die and some did for in defense of our nation, is that we’ve abandoned you. Your effort was in vain,” he candidly said, according to the Daily Mail.

“It showcases a weakness of leadership,” Sonza charged. “It required more time. For the sake of the servicemen and women who sacrificed over the last two decades.”

Sonza was clear when asked who he would vote for in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, stating that he would vote for “whoever the nominee is.” He went on to adamantly state that the Justice Department has been “weaponized” against former President Trump.

The young Republican is fully on board with impeaching President Biden as well.

In a referendum, Democrats touted as a win, last week as Ohioans voted 57 to 43 percent against Issue 1, a proposition that would have raised the vote needed to amend the state’s constitution from a simple majority to 60 percent. The win for the left is being touted as a prediction for enshrining abortion rights in the state’s constitution in November.

Sonza asserts that the loss does not mean conservatives won’t prevail.

“Ohioans spoke very clearly: they are content with the process of amending the constitution – the 50 percent plus one threshold. I believe that in these within these next 90 days, Ohioans are going to be truly receptive to understanding what this November amendment means: that is the most extreme constitutional amendment that we will see in Ohio,” he said.

“As a father of four kids believe that our country should be a place where there’s no abortion. From that personal conviction, I also understand the reality out there that a majority of Americans support having abortion legal to some degree,” Sonza added.

“It comes down to is just educating voters of exactly what they’re voting for. And so I don’t see issue on failing as a harbinger of things to come for November,” he concluded.

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