Marine Lieutenant Ilario Pantano with Staff Sergeant Jason Glew, his senior NCO in Al Anbar
We've followed the trials and tribulations of USMC First Lieutenant Ilario Pantano for awhile here on BlackFive. We've supported him since the beginning (and had to fight some of our own to do so), and, now, Ilario is running for Congress in the Congressional District NC-7. The 7th District has not had a Republican since March 3, 1871!
Pantano and his family live in North Carolina where, since 2006, he continues to serve his community as a Deputy Sheriff.
I'll post his press release after the Jump for you to read, but what you should all do is go visit his website, which unlike most campaign sites, is kept fresh and up to date with videos and commentary about Ilario on the campaign trail. Almost like a reality show - It's called "100 Days of Work" but I think of it as "No Better Friend TV".
Sign up for updates, volunteer if you're there in the district, and tell Ilario we have his back. I'll be donating to his campaign, too.
Update: The BlackFive family just donated $50.
Marine Veteran Joins other Conservatives Looking to Challenge Long Time Democratic Strongholds and Ivory Tower Politics
Ilario Pantano: Candidate for Congress (NC-7)
WILMINGTON, North Carolina, Jan 28---War veteran, author and businessman Ilario Pantano today formally announced his candidacy for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District. An independently minded Republican, Mr. Pantano is looking to challenge Rep. Mike McIntyre, a fourteen year incumbent in district held by Democrats for the last 100 years.
Pantano, 38, launched his congressional campaign with the '100 Days of Work' initiative highlighting South Eastern North Carolina's number one issue: Jobs and the economy. In daily candid discussions with employers and employees, Pantano turns to the free market of ideas to refine the solutions needed to revive the lagging economy. “As someone who has agonized over payroll and scrambled to get customers, I can relate to the struggles and the triumphs in today's job market and the paralyzing effects of excessive taxation, regulation and litigation.” Pantano, whose young children attend public school, also makes the case for top-tier educational programs that can simultaneously attract and educate a work force of innovators.
Pantano's '100 Days of Work' connects him to the people of the 7th district whose representation has been monopolized by a single party for over 100 years. “From my experience in small and large companies, I recognize that the best ideas often come from the bottom up and not the top down, particularly when the top has lost touch with the people.”
The call to serve his country is not a new one. Pantano has sworn the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States three times in his life: First as a 17-year old Marine. Then, over a decade later, after witnessing the attacks on 9/11, Pantano returned to the service and led a platoon of infantry Marines in Falluja through some of the fiercest fighting of the war. During combat operations, Pantano killed two terrorists and was later accused of murder. A military hearing dismissed all charges against him, but after receiving Jihadist death threats to his family, Pantano chose to resign from the Marine Corps. In 2006 he swore an oath to protect his local community in New Hanover County as a Deputy Sheriff. “My wife and I chose to live in North Carolina, not because we were born here, but because we respected the Southern traditions of Faith in God, Service, Loyalty and Devotion. Those are the values I strive to live by and those are the values I teach my sons.”
In 1998, a decade before Wall Street's underbelly was publicly exposed, Pantano made a decision to reject the greed mentality that he found morally repugnant, despite the salary. “As a capitalist, I appreciate the importance of profit, but as someone one who had always put service before self, I could not abide by the damage that was being done to human lives by reckless speculators like Enron.” Five years ago, Pantano presciently wrote of his decision to leave Wall Street in his memoir Warlord. In one story, a Goldman trader, who would later go on to management at AIG, smugly goaded Pantano, “Do you know how much money I made in oil while you were in the Gulf War?” Today, Pantano laments on the AIG bailout, “now all of our children will pay to protect that trader's private airplane, and that is not okay.”
His campaign can be followed at http://www.pantanoforcongress.com. For press inquiries or to schedule an interview, please call Hillary Meinheit at (910) 476-9783 or email PantanoPR@gmail.com