Alek Skarlatos

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Aleksander R. “Alek” Skarlatos

Born October 10, 1992
Castro Valley, California
Political party Republican
Alma mater Umpqua Community College
Occupation Retired Army specialist
Religion Orthodox Christian

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2012–2017
Rank Specialist
Unit Oregon Army National Guard
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Awards Air Assault Badge
Expert Marksmanship Badge
41st Infantry Division Combat Service Identification Badge
186th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Overseas Service Bar
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Soldier's Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Two Bronze Stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Legion of Honour, Knight
NATO Medal
Oregon Distinguished Service Medal
Oregon Faithful Service Ribbon

Aleksander Reed “Alek” Skarlatos (born October 10, 1992 (age 30)) is a U.S. National Guard soldier and conservative Republican who ran for United States House of Representatives from Oregon's 4th congressional district in the 2020 elections to challenge longtime Democrat incumbent Peter DeFazio, a far-left career politician who backed and co-sponsored the Green New Deal[1] and Medicare for All bills.[2]

Liberal news outlets have irrationally attacked Skarlatos in what proved to reflect on their bigotry;[3] Eugene Weekly referred to him as a "Trumpster Fire",[4] and Salon appears to even downplay his status as a hero.[5]

Early life/education

Skarlatos was born in Castro Valley, California to Emanuel Skarlatos and Heidi Hansen. He later moved to Oregon, where he attended and graduated from Roseburg High School and then attended Umpqua Community College.

Thalys train attack

In October 2015, as Skarlatos and two of his friends were on a Thayls train from Brussels to Paris, a terrorist stepped out of a bathroom armed with an AK-47, box cutter, pistol, and gasoline jar.[6][7] A Frenchman and an American attempted to stop the armed terrorist, and the latter was shot. One of Skarlatos' friends was injured while attacking the gunman, and Skarlato himself managed to grab the rifle, attack the terrorist in the head with the nozzle while he was strangled to the point of unconsciousness by Skarlatos' injured friend. Skarlatos then performed a crucial treatment on the American who was shot, saving his life.

Skarlatos was heavily praised following his heroism; this included being honored by the Department of Defense[8] in addition to receiving the highest French honor for having helped stopped the train attack.[9] He also received a medal and strong recognition from then-president Barack Obama.[10]

2020 U.S. House election in Oregon's 4th district

Skarlatos announced in mid-August 2019 his run for U.S. House of Representatives to challenge Rep. Peter DeFazio.[11] He proceeded to win his party's primary election with nearly 90% of the votes cast.[12]

Skarlatos released a campaign ad on September 8, 2020 strongly criticizing Rep. DeFazio for being out-of-touch with Oregon's 4th congressional district;[13] it quickly became popular, helping boost his candidacy.[14] He has previously accurately[15] noted that the incumbent progressive representative has voted with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 96% of the time.[16] In an interview with Breitbart, Skarlatos pointed out the lack of accomplishments made by DeFazio while the district has suffered economically with the latter being in office.[17]

While "experts" considered the race to lean in DeFazio's favor,[18] some noted that the race tightened.[19][20] The election notably has drawn strong national attention.[10] While Donald Trump lost the district in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Hillary Clinton only carried it by 0.1% of the votes cast,[21] signally a possible upset in the 2020 elections.

Skarlatos wrote an op-ed in mid-October 2020 on The Register-Guard on "standing up to the D.C. machine".[22]

Despite being a potential to oust the liberal career politician, Skarlatos narrowly lost the general election to Rep. DeFazio.[23]


  1. H.Res.109 - Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.
  2. H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019
  3. Democrats In Panic Mode As Long-Held Oregon Seat May Fall To GOP Newcomer Alek Skarlatos Who Thwarted Paris Terror Attack
  4. The Trumpster Fire Challenging DeFazio
  5. Republican “hero” who helped stop terror attack faces questions over "affiliations" to extremists
  6. Revealed: The mystery man who tackled AK-47 assault rifle from train gunman
  7. 'Wrong Place, Right People': U.S. Servicemen, Passengers Speak Out after Foiling Possible Terror Attack on European Train
  8. Department of Defense honors heroes with highest recognition
  9. Three Americans, Briton get highest French honor for stopping train attack
  10. 10.0 10.1 Oregon’s 4th Congressional District draws national attention
  11. Skarlatos, known for stopping terror attack, announces run for Congress
  12. Two references:
  13. Oregon is Burning
  14. Hero veteran’s ‘Oregon is burning’ campaign ad sweeps the internet for originality and fire
  15. Compare the voting records of Peter A. DeFazio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019-20.
  16. Hero from Paris train attack running to unseat liberal Oregon Democrat: 'He votes with AOC 96 percent of the time'
  17. Watch: Alek Skarlatos, Hero Who Thwarted Terrorist Train Attack, Takes on His Democrat Opponent in Key Oregon District
  18. 17-term incumbent Rep. Peter DeFazio fights to retain his seat against Republican Alek Skarlatos
  19. Skarlatos' fundraising surge may signal tough race for Oregon's DeFazio
  20. Dem chairman's race tightens as GOP 'hero' pulls in millions
  21. The 2016 Presidential Election by Congressional District
  22. Alek Skarlatos, running for U.S. House: Standing up to the D.C. machine
  23. DeFazio defeats Skarlatos in District 4 race

External links