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I have proudly spent my career in national security, working in the administrations of four Republican presidents, including as national security adviser to President George W. Bush. And I am encouraging the voters of Michigan’s 8th District to vote for a Democrat, Elissa Slotkin, for Congress.

It is because of Slotkin's steadfast focus on the mission, of always putting country before party, that I am crossing political lines to support her. I met Slotkin when we began seeking out briefings on Iraq for President Bush from young CIA analysts.

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She had already served the second of her three tours in Iraq, working alongside our military to keep U.S. forces safe from terrorist attacks.

When Slotkin came to brief us, we were so impressed that we hired her to serve on the National Security Council Staff the very next day. Time after time, she rewarded that decision by demonstrating good judgment and comprehensive knowledge of complex subjects that were critical to keeping our country safe.

I saw Slotkin show the courage to stand up for what she thought was the best course of action for the country -- even when it was at odds with the president. Slotkin was willing to go toe-to-toe with senior Bush administration officials and respectfully speak truth to power, and I know she did the same when she was asked to stay on and serve President Obama.

That strength of character is something far too rare in politics.

As the son of a Michiganian who has spent countless summers and holidays there, and a native Ohioan, I know Midwestern values when I see them. I know that the qualities that made Slotkin successful under two administrations of opposite parties were the Michigan values she brought with her: hard working, practical, reasonable, and willing to work with anyone to get the job done.

As a Republican and more importantly as an American, I believe it is important that people like Slotkin come to the nation’s capital and serve in our Congress – particularly in this time of great polarization in our politics.

Just as important as the work she did to protect our country is the fact that she is willing to work across party lines to get things done for Michiganians and all Americans. I know Slotkin will do what she believes is right, regardless of partisan politics.

I cannot think of a finer representative for the people of Michigan than Elissa Slotkin, and I encourage them to send her to Congress.

Stephen Hadley is the former national security advisor for President George W. Bush.

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