John Plumb (D)


U.S. Naval Reserve Commander John Plumb is a fourth generation Western New Yorker with 22 years of military experience running for Congress in New York’s 23 District. He was born in Jamestown and raised in the nearby beautiful small town of Randolph.

Military & National Defense Experience:

  • Commissioned as an officer in the US Navy, John spent over 6 years on active duty, including almost three years on the fast attack submarine USS San Juan. Following his time in active duty, John has continued to serve in the US Navy Reserve, where he currently serves as commanding officer for the Maritime Operations Center reserve detachment in Newport, RI.
  • John is also a national security expert that has worked on military and national defense issues to keep our country safe in the Senate, the Pentagon and the White House. In 2007, John took a one-year break to deploy to Kuwait, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.


  • John is trained as a scientist and engineer, holding a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado. 
  • He previously earned a US Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1992. The following year, he earned a Master of Science in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 


John has received numerous military awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and Navy Expeditionary Medal. In addition, he’s one of very few service members to receive the Arctic Service Ribbon for spending more than 28 days north of the Arctic Circle in his submarine, including under the ice. He qualified as an expert on pistol and sharpshooter on rifle. He has also been recognized for his civilian public service including the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service award, the Department of State Superior Honor Award, and the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award. 

Growing Our Rural Economies: 

Here are John’s priorities for growing our rural economies by protecting the jobs we have and creating new ones: 

  • Fight Bad Trade Deals: Fight against bad trade deals — like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — so we can put a stop to our jobs being shipped overseas.
  • Promote Renewable Energy and Upgrade Infrastructure: Champion renewable energy so our rural economies are a part of this growing economic wave, and upgrade our crumbling roads and bridges.
  • Create the Conditions for Entrepreneurs to Succeed: Eliminate damaging, unnecessary red tape and provide resources so our entrepreneurs have a better environment to make their business plans a reality.
  • Tackling Student Debt: Help students finance and refinance their student loans at competitive rates or pay them back as a percentage of their income so they can afford to stay and work in our district and take risks while they’re young.
  • Promote True High-Speed Internet for Rural Communities: Connect our rural communities to the free flow of online commerce, customers, and clients with true high-speed internet and improved rural cell phone coverage.
  • Get Spending Under Control: Washington needs to get its spending under control so we can strengthen our economy today and in the future without continuing to pass the buck on to future generations.
Combating ISIS and Defeating Radical Islamic Extremism:

Here are the key lines of effort John has prioritized for combating ISIS and defeating radical Islamic extremism:

  • Protect the Homeland: Reinvigorate our Joint Terrorism Task Force to effectively integrate information on threats and interrupt planned attacks on the homeland.
  • A New AUMF for our Current Enemy: Pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to provide clear legal authority to the executive branch to hunt down and capture or kill ISIS leadership wherever they are hiding, while ensuring focused and rigorous Congressional oversight to prevent mission creep or executive overreach.
  • Intelligence Sharing and Joint Operational Planning to Create a True Coalition: Enhance support for intelligence sharing and joint planning, including efforts with key regional partners in the fight against ISIS.
  • Cutting Off ISIS Sources of Money: Expand operations and financial activities aimed at undermining ISIS sources of power — specifically their oil, arms, and financial backers.
  • Confront ISIS in their Cyber War: Expand and enhance existing authorities and funding that allow the U.S. to engage in offensive and defensive cyber operations to undermine and eliminate ISIS efforts to radicalize and recruit online.


John loves the outdoors, fishing, hunting, country music and hanging out with his dog Gunner.

Social Media and Website:

Follow and connect with John on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more and how to get involved at

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