Pantano win is national news; Iraq Vets approve
By winning the NC GOP 7th congressional primary and topping 14-year incumbent Mike McIntyre at fund raising, Ilario Pantano has boosted his chances of also prevailing in the November general election against the entrenched Democrat from Lumberton, NC. A race that 100 days ago was considered “safely democratic” is now called a 50-50 toss-up.
Despite being a blue dog seat for 140 years, this recent shift in vulnerability puts U.S. Congressional district NC-7 on par with other competitive North Carolina seats (NC-11 Shuler, NC-8 Kissell) that have been Republican as recently as two years ago.Jim Geraghty of The National Review Online noted, "Mike McIntyre, North Carolina: This seven-term Democrat would be safe in an ordinary year, but he felt enough pressure back in his district to vote against the health-care bill.
GOP challenger Ilario Pantano, a [former] police officer, raised $103,000, which is more than McIntyre did; the district rates an R+8 on the Cook PVI."The "R+8" Cook rating that Geraghty mentions is an insider’s way of accounting for voting trends and projected likelihood of going Republican.
The good news for conservatives here is that NC-7’s Republican rating has nearly doubled in the last month, jumping from R+5 to R+8.National Review Online’s Geraghty ranked 99 House races by degree of difficulty for GOP challengers.
"Here are my 99 races, grouped into five levels of difficulty. I’ve used three different measurements: A) the Department of Homeland Security’s old color-code alert system, B) a comparable degree of difficulty to beating NFL teams, and C) a quick assessment," stated Geraghty.
The big news for southeast North Carolina conservatives is that the congressional race has jumped from "safely blue" ninety days ago to a 50-50 toss-up according to Geraghty, who described our challenge to defeat the Pelosi majority and retake NC-7 as:A) YELLOW, B) AS HARD AS BEATING THE CAROLINA PANTHERS, and C) PROBABLY CLOSE TO 50/50 RIGHT NOW.
Geraghty says that in looking hard at the North Carolina races, among the GOP challengers to incumbent Democrats, "only Ilario Pantano stands out."
NATIONAL VETERANS GROUP ENDORSES ILARIO PANTANO
Iraq Vets for Congress Political Action Committee (IVC) is proud to announce the endorsement of Ilario Pantano in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. Mr. Pantano is a Marine Corps veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm.
"Ilario Pantano is the personification of the American Dream" said D. Patrick Mahoney, President of IVC. "The son of an immigrant, he earned a scholarship to a prestigious high school then enlisted in the Marine Corps before earning a college degree from New York University and enjoying great success in business.
"When the nation was attacked on 9/11, Pantano sought and earned a Marine Corps commission and commanded a platoon of Marines in Iraq with distinction. After his military service, he authored a bestselling book and became a member of North Carolina’s law enforcement community.
"Given this remarkable pedigree of service and accomplishment we are confident Mr. Pantano is precisely the type of outstanding candidate we need to shake up the status quo in Washington."IVC looks for the best and strongest candidates in the most competitive and winnable races and has targeted NC-7 as a seat that the right Republican candidate can win.
"We believe that Pantano’s personal magnetism, unique life story, remarkable credentials and relentless work ethic are a recipe for victory in November," explained Mahoney.
"Voters understand that Ilario Pantano has already put service to country first at a time of war when there is no draft and when military service was the exception rather than the rule. While many of his peers got rich during the first decade of the 21st Century, Ilario Pantano got shot at. This fact will not be lost on the electorate."
Concluded Mahoney, "Those who have already stood up to al Qaeda terrorists and the Sunni insurgency are more than equipped to stand up to special interests, party bosses and the establishment in Washington."
Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC (IVC) is a federally registered political action committee supporting the congressional campaigns of conservative Republican Veterans.