The 2022 elections must return strong majorities to the House and Senate who are dedicated to safeguarding the rights of all American citizens, rebuilding trust in public service, and restoring confidence in the United States around the globe. To that end, the Steady State group of former national security professionals is announcing today our first endorsements of outstanding candidates, including retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken, who share our values, our commitment to America, and have strong national security experience.

Vice Admiral Franken ( is seeking to unseat Charles Grassley as U.S. Senator from Iowa. Vice Admiral Franken grew up in Iowa and returned to it upon retirement from the Navy. While he traveled widely during his 37-year Navy career, Iowa was always home.

As evidenced by his rank, Vice Admiral Franken’s navy career was exceptionally distinguished. His assignments included U.S. Africa Command’s deputy for military operations, U.S. Central Command’s flag officer responsible for plans and strategy, and commander of the Joint Task Force responsible for U.S. military activity throughout East Africa. His last position was as the first Director of the 800-person Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Thus, Vice Admiral Franken would bring to the Senate an unparalleled experience with, and understanding of, the wide range of defense issues and regional conflicts of vital importance to U.S. and global security. That experience and understanding will be more important than ever in the Senate, given the severe challenges facing us domestically and internationally, and because it is so rare. Unlike in previous generations, very few Senators and Members of Congress have any military experience, and none has any that is close to that of Vice Admiral Franken.

Founded after the 2016 Presidential election, the Steady State now includes over 200 national security professionals. Steady State members include former intelligence officers, specialists in defense policy, diplomats, and Congressional staff. We are pleased to endorse Vice Admiral Franken and other candidates for the House and Senate who will continue to work tirelessly to strengthen America’s democracy and place in the world.