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.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(14) comments


Attention News-Review...

As I type this I can't help but note that 12 comments have already been logged, but only six people have left any sort of vote in your "React" area. Could it be that the five offered categories, Love, Funny, Wow (could you find any word more ambiguous?), Sad, and Angry just might be inappropriate? I do.

I wonder how many would vote "Wow" to my opinion?




People who are willing to send someone as ridiculous as Dallas Heard to the state senate won't hesitate to vote to send an unqualified opportunist who is too big for his britches to Congress.

Thankfully the good people of Lane, Benton and Lincoln counties will prevent that from happening.


"“If elected, I will have law enforcements’ back as they defend our communities,” Skarlatos said."

That's code for supporting the false notion that a county sheriff has constitutional power over the state and federal governments. That's a litmus test for getting elected in Douglas County.


I just re read the article. "Alek was one of "four" men on the train". Much like Alek, the news review has told the story so many times now they can't even get the "true" story correct. He was one of THREE. Though as far as most of Douglas county is concerned, he single handidly did it himself and most locals had no idea of the existence of the "two friends" as the news review likes to refer to them as.




I have the utmost respect for active duty and veteran military. When I read the accounts and watch video interviews of Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, it appears as though their perspectives of the event differ somewhat. I do believe what Stone said in that they got on that train after having spent a week in Amsterdam and were not 100% meaning, hung over, sleep deprived and/or exhausted from what other activities they participated in. The one thing that stands out to me is that neither man mentioned that Skarlotos grabbed a rifle and hit the terrorist in the face with the muzzle. Stone said he did tap him on the shoulder to "go" as he (Stone) was sitting in the aisle seat, Skarlotos in the window seat. Stone attacked the guy to the train floor, got cut up and all three pummeled him into submission. Are they the heroes that both France and the U.S. say they are with their national awards from both countries. A resounding yes. But an accurate portrayal of the incident would be beneficial from say a police interview of them at the time it occurred. That's something we'll never see.

What's most disappointing is that since the incident and the publicity, the jobs that Skarlotos took did not offer him any experience in being a leader of people, nor a politician. This is purely a good ole boys endeavor to raise up a veteran who otherwise would have never thought politics was in his future. I don't believe politics should be in his future. Perhaps the good ole boys could start him off in a more local position, county commissioner comes to mind. At some point in the future he just might be ready.


Skarlatos said: “If elected, I will have law enforcements’ back as they defend our communities...”

There's nothing wrong with that sentiment, Alek, but the people of Oregon will be looking to send a Senator to D.C. who is qualified to have our state's back.


Anyone else find it interesting how weeks back when story broke out about Alek funneling money into his campaign fund which was highly illegal that the news review was silent about it? I saw no mention of it on here aside from two letters in the opinion section from people writing about their disgust on the matter. Yet KPIC and other local news sources had all ran a story about it. Between this and a substantial decrease on covid coverage lately.....makes you wonder whose agenda the news review lies with.


Yes, it is interesting:


I'm rather conflicted to see this endorsement*. I expect that with redistricting, a few qualified Republican candidates will come out of the woodwork, and I think that Skarlatos is a really miserable candidate who is utterly unqualified, by education, temperament, and experience. And he'd be a disaster representing us.

I believe that it is unethical for our sheriff, qua sheriff, to endorse a political candidate and allow his own picture in uniform to be used in a news article about that endorsement. Perhaps it was not his decision, but was that of the News-Review.

I would really appreciate the News-Review's editorial position on this, as well as, perhaps, a statement from our sheriff. I think that our sheriff does a pretty good job, and I've appreciated that in the past that he's been fairly apolitical in uniform. Law enforcement ought to remain utterly apolitical; law-enforcement officers can be as political as they want, out of uniform and off duty.


According to Alek Skarlatos, when he asked Sheriff Hanlin for his endorsement in 2018 while Skarlatos was running for County Commissioner, Hanlin told Skarlatos he does not endorse candidates. Then two weeks after Hanlin told this to Skarlatos, Hanlin announced his endorsement of Tom Kress for County Commissioner. According to Alek Skarlatos, John Hanlin is NOT to be trusted. I wonder what changed.


What a shame! Alek has not done anything positive for our community and is still trying to ride on his “celebrity” status for his good deed on the train. Yes, he has served in the military but after his discharge nothing except his short lived movie and tv dancing career. There is no record of any community/public service that he has done. It would be better to have someone who really cares.


Of course he did. Birds of a feather......

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