War on terror vet announces candidacy for U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON — Paul Hackett, a Marine reservist from Ohio who earlier this year failed in a bid to be the first war on terror veteran in Congress, announced Monday his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Hackett, a Democrat, spent eight months with a team from the 4th Civil Affairs Group near Ramadi in 2004, working as both a convoy commander and payroll administrator.
In August, he lost by 4 percentage points to Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, in a special election to replace former Rep. Rob Portman. The race drew national attention because of Hackett’s war record and his strong showing in the heavily Republican district.
Hackett will likely face seven-term Congressman Rep. Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio, in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat next May. The winner is expected to square off against incumbent two-term Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, in the fall general election.
The 42-year-old Hackett said he’ll run largely the same campaign as this summer, contrasting his background with “career politicians” who have made poor decisions about Ohio’s economy and the war on terror.
Opponents blasted him for his criticism of President Bush’s handling of Iraq during the last campaign.
In an interview with Stars and Stripes on Monday, Hackett said he was glad to see that since that time, some members of Congress have begun calling for a clear withdrawal plan.
“I’m glad they finally listened to the American people, and that gave them the courage to get up off of their asses to say what people have been asking for,” he said. “They’re paid to make hard decisions, and if they’re not going to step up and advocate for the people of America, we’ll get them out of there.”
Hackett, now a lawyer in the Cincinnati area, is one of at least eight former servicemembers who spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan that have registered for Congressional races next year.