ROSEBURG, Ore. – A Roseburg man known around the world for helping stop a 2015 terrorist attack in France announced he’s running for Congress.
About four years ago, Alek Skarlatos and two of his friends were on a train to Paris when a man started shooting an automatic weapon. They tackled the man after he stepped into their train car and stopped to reload his weapon.
“I turned around and saw he had what looked to be an AK, and it looked like it was jammed or it wasn’t working and he was trying to charge the weapon,” said Spencer Stone, one of the heroes. “Alek just hit me on the shoulder and said, ‘Let’s go.'”
Stone tackled the shooter and wrestled him to the ground, while Skarlatos grabbed the gun and hit the suspect with it. The friends handed the man over to authorities at the next train station.
While the men were hailed as heroes and honored by world leaders, at the time Skarlatos—a former Oregon National Guardsman—said he was just doing what came naturally.
“I feel our training mostly kicked in after the assailant was already subdued, frankly, when it came to medical care and things like that and providing security, making sure there wasn’t another shooter, but in the beginning, it was mostly just gut instinct.”
Skarlatos starred as himself in the 2018 film “The 15:17 to Paris,” produced and directed by Clint Eastwood.
On August 15, 2019, Skarlatos announced he’s running for Congress in 2020. His campaign, Alek for Congress, released the following statement:
Oregon values are my values and I am committed to protect our way of life. That’s why I’m proud to announce I’m running for Congress—to serve and work for the people of Oregon!
As I traveled the district when I returned home from my deployment, I had the privilege to meet people from all walks of life from my beloved home state of Oregon. I began to see how opportunity to make a sustainable middle-class life has dwindled here due to policies from DC imposing regulatory and tax burdens that have driven out the timber industry. Wages are flat and the cost of living keeps increasing every day.
I’m running for Congress because it’s time we have someone who will stand with Southern Oregon. The loggers, veterans, moms, dads, and families trying to make ends meet. It’s time we have a congressman who will serve you, not the extremists in DC.
Join me and let’s stand up for Oregon.
Last year, Skarlatos ran for Douglas County Commissioner. He lost to Tom Kress.
In his bid for a Congressional seat, Skarlatos will challenge Democrat incumbent Peter DeFazio.
NBC5 News has reached out to Skarlatos’ campaign to determine his party affiliation, if any. We have yet to receive a response.