Alek Skarlatos, the Army National Guard veteran who rose to the national spotlight after thwarting a terrorist attack aboard a train in France in 2015, released a scathing ad against his Democrat congressional opponent Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), whom he noted lives on a “yacht in DC, has done nothing in his 33 year career.”
Skarlatos won Oregon fourth congressional district’s Republican primary in May, and has since set his sights on flipping the district red and targeting his Democrat opponent, DeFazio, 73. In a ad speaking directly to Oregonians, Skarlatos stated that he hates politics, but explained he is running for office “because Oregon is burning and I had to do something”:
Oregon is burning, I will put out the Flames.
My opponent, who lives on a Yacht in DC, has done nothing in his 33 year career.
— Alek Skarlatos (@alekskarlatos) September 8, 2020
“I grew up in Oregon, but I’m not old enough to remember when my opponent, Peter DeFazio, was elected, because he’s been in office longer than I’ve been alive. That’s exactly what’s wrong with politics in this county,” Skarlatos, 33, said, listing the milestones he has reached since DeFazio has been in office.
“In 33 years, what has Peter DeFazio accomplished? Since DeFazio has been in office, I was born, graduated high school in Oregon, attended college in Oregon, joined the Oregon Army National Guard, deployed to Afghanistan, and stopped a terrorist attack on a train,” he said, adding that DeFazio has accomplished nothing except losing jobs, the district’s industry, and the middle class.
DeFazio, he said, is a proud original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, which would “plunge many Oregon families into poverty.”
“How can our elected representative kill the very industry we all rely on? Oh right. Because Peter DeFazio does not live here. He does not work in our lumberyards, docks, or fields. He doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air. Peter DeFazio lives in DC on a yacht,” he said.
“The only job DeFazio has ever had is running for office,” he continued, adding that the 73-year-old congressman has “never earned a dollar in the private sector.”
He continued in detailing the stark contrast between himself and his competitor, telling Oregonians that it is time to elect someone who “actually lives here, understands our values, and won’t sell our industries up the river for their New York socialist friends.”
“He answers to Nancy Pelosi and the socialists that have taken over the Democratic Party. They’re his only friends, and seriously, they tell him what to do,” he said, describing DeFazio’s political career as a “dumpster fire” and noting that he votes with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) 96 percent of the time.
“I’m not the kind of guy who takes kindly to someone turning down my home. I’m a fighter. I fought for what’s right around the globe and now I’m ready to fight for what’s right at home. Right here in Western Oregon,” he said.
In a June appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, Skarlatos explained that he decided to run for Congress after looking into his district’s status as the poorest Congressional district in the state.
“You had a huge economic downturn [in southwest Oregon] since timber went away in the late 80s, early 90s, and it’s really all just been politically motivated. There’s been no real tangible reason for southwestern Oregon being the poorest Congressional district in the state,” he told host and Breitbart News Political Editor Matthew Boyle:
“I felt like after 33 years in office, Peter DeFazio, if he was going to do anything for us, he would have done it by now. And I felt like he doesn’t represent the district anymore, and he’s incredibly far-left,” he added.
A victory for Skarlatos would further the GOP’s goal of retaking the House. Clinton took the district in 2016 by one-tenth of a percentage point.
Skarlatos told Breitbart News Saturday:
Like you said, this is basically a toss-up district at best. It’s actually the closest congressional district in the country that Trump lost and it’s gone Republican before for governor’s candidates and Secretary of State candidates and presidential candidates before this as well, but unfortunately just hasn’t gone red with a congressional candidate yet. There’s a number of reasons for that, but this is important not just for national, but also for the people of southwestern Oregon.
“This is the poorest congressional district in this state and there’s a reason for that and part of the reason why I’m running is to help turn that around,” he added.