Washington, DC (NEWS RELEASE) - The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has officially announced that Marine Corps veteran, author and Deputy Sheriff Ilario Pantano (NC-07) has reached ‘Contender’ status as part of its Young Guns program. ‘Contender’ status is the second step in the three-level program. Pantano now faces a new set of benchmarks to reach ‘Young Gun’ status in his bid to represent North Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District. After winning the GOP primary, Pantano is set to challenge Democrat incumbent Mike McIntyre in the general election.
Founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program is a member-driven organization dedicated to electing open-seat and challenger candidates nationwide. By achieving ‘Contender’ status, Pantano has already demonstrated his ability to build a successful campaign structure and achieve vital fundraising goals.
“Ilario Pantano has met a series of rigorous fundraising and campaign goals that will go a long way in helping to put this seat in the Republican column,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). “Ilario is part of a strong and growing pool of candidates who are frustrated with the Democrat majority’s big-government ways and aren’t willing to stand by any longer. The success of his campaign has put congressional Democrats on notice that Americans are ready to turn the page on the failed experiment known as the Obama-Pelosi agenda.”
Ilario Pantano began his career of public service at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the Marine Corps and became an elite scout sniper. Following his deployment during the Gulf War, Pantano completed his Bachelor’s in economics, worked in the financial industry, and started his own company. Witnessing the 9/11 attacks inspired Pantano to return to the service of his country, where he led Marines as an officer during some of the fiercest fighting in Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following an honorable discharge, Pantano wrote a book on his service and has been protecting and serving his local community in North Carolina as a Deputy Sheriff while pursuing a Master’s in National Security Policy.
Pantano now faces a new set of rigorous goals that will elevate him to the top level of the Young Guns program and help him build a competitive, effective and winning campaign.