A disabled Army veteran inspired by Dennis Michael Lynch to run for United States Congress in California’s 31st District has withdrawn from the 2018 race and joined the campaign of his Republican opponent.

Dean Poirier has accepted the position of Veterans Policy & Outreach Director for the campaign of economist Sean Flynn, who was endorsed in February by the San Bernadino County Republican Party.

The district is currently represented by Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar of Redlands, who won the congressional seat in 2014 and 2016.

In a March 29 video posted on the Sean Flynn for Congress Facebook page, Poirier endorsed Flynn.

“I’m a disabled veteran from the United States Army,” Poirier said. “I’ve spent most of my life serving this country and, when I was forced to return home after a service-connected injury, I was let down by the VA time after time. The more I talked to other veterans, the more I realized that my story is not unique.”

Poirier noted, “Veterans are systematically undertreated, uneducated and homeless, despite the promises we hear from many politicians in Washington.”

Such conditions prompted Poirier to “look critically at our elected officials, especially our current congressman, Pete Aguilar,” who recently voted against the Veterans Affairs Accountability First Act, which allows the VA to dismiss employees who mistreat veterans.

According to Poirier, Aguilar is failing veterans, as well as “the entire working class and the families” in California’s 31st Congressional District.

“Because of this,” Poirier said, “I decided I had to do something. Something to help bring about change. So I began working toward running for Congress in the 31st District.”

Shortly after preparing the paperwork to get on the ballot for the 2018 midterm election, Poirier had the opportunity to meet with Flynn, with whom he spoke about veterans affairs, the economy, vocational education and many other topics.

Poirier realized that he and Flynn “have the same passion for helping American people.”

After serious contemplation, Poirier decided that “the best way to successfully take back” the seat from Aguilar and “ensure that the people of San Bernadino County have someone that truly represents them in Washington” was for him to join Flynn’s campaign.

Alongside Flynn, Poirier will “act as an adviser and do whatever I can as we work toward our joint goal of improving the lives of not only veterans, but of all the great people of the 31st District.”

Flynn, the son of two Navy veterans, said regarding Poirier’s endorsement, “I am honored to have the support of veterans like Dean on my campaign. We must make sure that veterans have the representation they need and deserve in Washington.”

Flynn pledged to “work tirelessly to reform the VA and ensure that every veteran receives the care and opportunities that they’ve earned.”