A former stock broker, New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputy and Marine is trying his hand at a new profession. Ilario Pantano wants the Republican nomination for the 7th Congressional District.
Pantano served in three wars, and in 2004 shot two men in Iraq. He was accused of murder, but all charges against him were dropped a year later.
This is Pantano's first run for public office. He says his experiences tested his character, and make him an ideal candidate.
"My set of experiences was being a small business owner ultimately serving as a deputy in local law enforcement, as an author, as someone who has traveled the world and got to see up close and personal what the problems and challenges are that we face," Pantano said, "and frankly, I haven't been satisfied with the way our lawmakers of any party, have tackled some of these tough issues."
Pantano says his campaign is centered around creating jobs, with a focus on small business, and rebuilding the economy.
He faces Will Breazeale in May's Republican primary. The winner of that election will challenge incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre in November.