Having served 21 years in the Air Force, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the finest men and women in our nation encompassing all ranks. These aspiring leaders and seasoned leaders place the well-being of their units before themselves, their character inspires others to achieve their potential, and their principles do not waver under pressure.

Sadly, leadership of this nature is deeply lacking in Washington.

Personal political power and maintaining the status quo is all that matters to the establishment elites in both parties. My first-hand experience during the 2016 election cycle reinforced my commitment to support an Article 5 Convention of States proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to impose term limits on all members of Congress.

In April 2016, I was the only candidate out of nine to win a slot on the party’s primary ballot for Senate at the Colorado Republican Convention. Instead of ignoring the grassroots like many in Washington do, I have spent much of my life listening to them. My message of defending the Constitution and reducing government control in our lives resonated with voters because I shared their same, very real concerns. I am no different than my neighbor.

Throughout my candidacy in the primary, I was not taken seriously by the establishment Senate leadership, and they focused on another candidate in the race. (Sound familiar?) Despite this, my hard-working team, along with Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and some true leaders in the conservative movement (Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, James Lankford, Rand Paul, Tim Scott, and the Senate Conservative Fund) helped me win the Republican nomination, beating out four other candidates including two self-funded millionaires.

With the grassroots on my side, I shook up Colorado and gave hope to the thousands of Colorado voters who have become increasingly frustrated with Washington. These voters knew that if I was elected, I would have their backs and not become another D.C. politician, who campaigns as a conservative then legislates based on the agenda of the establishment, often directly contradicting the foundation of our own Republican Party.

Colorado was one of only two Senate seats that Republicans had a serious chance to flip from Democrats; the other was Nevada. Even though a Republican pick-up opportunity was there for the taking, Senate leadership and allies made the decision to spend zero dollars to fight for my seat, choosing instead to spend more than $25 million dollars trying to win Nevada. They knew that if I was elected, I would infuse another voice from hardworking Americans into Washington, and that was too much of a threat to their power. Instead, they deliberately chose to forego an opportunity to win another conservative seat in the Senate. What was the result? The Republicans lost both seats by approximately the same margin.

I’m sharing this story because elections only matter to the establishment elites if you are a candidate that will help maintain the status quo and vote as you’re told, even if it’s against the interest of your constituents. These politicians have more power than the people and the Founding Fathers of this great nation never meant for this to happen.

What we're experiencing right now is a fight by both parties to remain in power indefinitely. Establishment elites are more focused on recruiting or re-electing non-threats to their power base and passing legislation with no substantive solutions to our growing problems. At the end of the day, the public is left with a continuous failure on years of campaign promises or simply legislation that "checks the box" and creates political cover at re-election time and the illusion that at least “my representative” did something.

It’s time to restore power back into the hands of the people. Our liberty and freedom are at risk. Continuing to allow the establishment elites to maintain the ability to handpick lifetime members into their exclusive club is unacceptable. The fight to establish federal term limits is well worth the effort. I hope you will join me.

Darryl Glenn is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and current Republican candidate for Colorado's 5th Congressional District.