Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has endorsed Republican candidate Alek Skarlatos for U.S. House District 4.
Skarlatos is seeking the Republican nomination for the seat in 2022.
District 4 is currently represented by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, but DeFazio has announced he plans to retire at the end of his current term.
Hanlin cited Skarlatos’ military experience and support for law enforcement in making his endorsement.
“Alek Skarlatos is a veteran of Afghanistan and shares my value of protecting our communities and I am proud to endorse him for Congress,” Hanlin said in a news release Monday.
“Our local police officers, firefighters, and first responders will always be able to count on Alek Skarlatos,” Hanlin said.
Skarlatos said he was thankful for Hanlin’s support and also pledged never to vote to defund the police.
“If elected, I will have law enforcements’ back as they defend our communities,” Skarlatos said.
Skarlatos is a veteran of the Oregon National Guard who is perhaps best known as one of four men who thwarted a would-be terrorist on a Paris-bound train in 2015.
He later starred in the Clint Eastwood film about that event called “15:17 to Paris.”
Skarlatos made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat DeFazio during the 2020 election, losing that race by a margin of 46% to 52%.
Even without DeFazio in the race, Skarlatos could face an uphill battle in November if he is selected for the Republican ticket. That’s because the recently completed redistricting has made the district safer for Democratic candidates.
Democrat Val Hoyle, Oregon’s labor commissioner and the former majority leader, has announced she is running for the position. Other candidates include Democrat Andrew Kalloch and Republican Jeremy Van Tress.