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Centrist Democrats want Shinseki out

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Friday, May 23, 2014, at 11:25 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 23, 2014, at 11:42 a.m.

Calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation has become popular among moderate Democrats.

Friday, Michelle Nunn, the party’s U.S. Senate nominee in a tight race for a George U.S. Senate seat, became the latest to call for the embattled secretary to step down.

"It has become increasingly clear that we need new leadership to build confidence, focus and accountability at the VA to fix what is wrong with the agency," she said in a statement given to the Associated Press.

"I hope that Gen. Shinseki will step aside to allow for fresh leadership to tackle these pressing issues and support the veterans that the general is deeply committed to serving."

Nunn is locked in a tight race, as is Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky. Grimes is trying to unseat veteran Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Grimes Thursday also urged Shinseki to step down.

“We owe a solemn obligation to our veterans, and our government defaulted on that contract. I don’t see how that breach of trust with our veterans can be repaired if the current leadership stays in place,” she said in a statement.

Both Grimes and Nunn are vying for seats now held by Republicans, seats that are the Democrats’ best bets for flipping Senate seats.

In House races, one of the few Democratic Southern moderates still in Congress, Rep. John Barrow, has also called for Shenseki’s resignation.

“Secretary Shinseki is a decorated veteran who has served this country honorably, and I’ve personally met him on numerous occasions and found him to be devoted to caring for this nation’s heroes,” Barrow said.

“Unfortunately, this Administration has fallen short in providing the kind of care that our veterans have earned. While I don’t think a change in leadership will immediately solve the serious problems that plague the VA, I do think it’s time to give someone else an opportunity to lead the agency and begin the rebuilding process to ensure these issues never happen again”

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