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Ashwin Madia

Interim Chairman of VoteVets.org, J. Ashwin Madia, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and moved to Quantico, Virginia for 6 months of basic training, after Law School. He served in Iraq from September 2005 to March 2006. Madia was lead attorney in over one hundred trials, including thirteen jury trials. He is most proud of his work successfully defending a gay Marine from administrative discharge in 2005, when it was clear that commanders were using disparate standards in their treatment of this Marine compared to other Marines. Madia was a long-time Republican, who supported Bob Dole for President in 1996, and Senator John McCain in 2000, before running as a Democrat for Congress in Minnesota in 2008. Madia previously was Vice Chairman of VoteVets.org, before assuming Interim Chairman duties in December 2010 for Jon Soltz, who took a leave of absence for a year, to serve in Iraq as part of "Operation New Dawn."