WILMINGTON, North Carolina, Jan 28 -- Ilario Pantano, a former Marine Corps officer, deputy sheriff and author, will announce his candidacy for Congress in North Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District on Thursday, January 28. Mr. Pantano will be seeking the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre.
Pantano’s military service began at age 17 when he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and became an elite scout sniper. After fighting in the first Gulf War, he left to complete his education, work on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs and start his own business. 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 ultimately dismissed all charges against him; however, after receiving extremist death threats to his family, Pantano chose to resign from the Marine Corps. Since 2006, he has protected his local community in North Carolina as a Deputy Sheriff.