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Paris train hero runs for county commissioner in Oregon

Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Aleksander Reed Skarlatos waves to the crowd during a baseball game in Boston on May 13, 2016. Skarlatos, who helped stop a gunman on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015, announced his candidacy Tuesday, May 15, 2018, for Douglas County commissioner.

MICHAEL DWYER/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 16, 2018

ROSEBURG, Ore. — One of the men who thwarted a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train is running for a county commissioner seat in western Oregon.

Alek Skarlatos, 25, announced his candidacy Tuesday to become a Douglas County commissioner, The News-Review reported .

The former Oregon National Guardsman from the small city of Roseburg and two friends — Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone — were traveling in Europe in August 2015 when they incapacitated a heavily armed gunman. They were credited with saving many lives and honored on both sides of the Atlantic.

They re-enacted the encounter in the movie "The 15:17 to Paris," which was directed by Clint Eastwood and released earlier this year.

Skarlatos also finished third as a contestant on TV's "Dancing With the Stars."

Since leaving the guard in November, Skarlatos has been touring the country for public speaking engagements.

"I've traveled all over the world, and there's no place I'd rather live than Douglas County, honestly," Skarlatos said.

If elected, Skarlatos said he plans to bring more jobs to the rural county, particularly industrial jobs for skilled trade workers.

"Really I think that jobs bring in taxes, and if we can get people jobs that would make the whole community better off," Skarlatos said.

Serving as county commissioner would provide Skarlatos an opportunity to stand up for values he believes in and to represent a younger generation, he said.

"I think the political climate has led a lot of younger people to become interested in politics, myself included," Skarlatos said. "I just hope to move Douglas County in a better direction."

Skarlatos is pursing the seat vacated by Republican Gary Leif, who recently left the position to become a state lawmaker.

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Information from: The News-Review
 

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