Who is Ilario Pantano?
Ilario Pantano is a respected combat veteran, and bestselling author who has worked in both global markets and small business. The “born again Southerner” is a 38 year-old conservative committed to promoting job creation and revitalizing the economy, protecting the homeland and preserving our conservative values.
Pantano launched his congressional campaign with the ‘100 Days of Work’ initiative highlighting southeastern North Carolina’s number one issue: jobs and the economy. In ongoing discussions with employers and employees, Pantano turns to the free market of ideas to refine the solutions needed to revive the lagging economy. “As someone who has agonized over payroll and scrambled to get customers, I can relate to the struggles and the triumphs in today’s job market and the paralyzing effects of excessive taxation, regulation and litigation.”
Pantano, whose young children attend public school, also makes the case for top-tier educational programs that can simultaneously attract and educate a work force of innovators.
Pantano’s ‘100 Days of Work’ connects him to the people of the 7th district whose representation has been monopolized by a single party for over 140 years. “From my experience in small and large companies, I recognize that the best ideas often come from the bottom up and not the top down, particularly when the top, in this case Washington, has lost touch with the people.”
The call to serve his country is not a new one. Pantano has sworn the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States three times in his life: first as a 17-year old Marine. As an anti-tank gunner, Pantano fought in the first Gulf War, with the Sixth Marine Regiment that helped to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi invaders. Later, Pantano would become an Elite Scout Sniper and train with foreign militaries in the Mediterranean. His service included support of the UN peacekeeping mission for what was then Yugoslavia. Sergeant Pantano was honorably discharged (1993) and attended New York University at night while working at Goldman Sachs by day. He began as a clerk in the oil and gas markets of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and ultimately worked up to a position trading electricity.
In 1998, a decade before Wall Street’s underbelly was publicly exposed, Pantano made a decision to reject the greed mentality that he found morally repugnant, despite the salary. “As a capitalist, I appreciate the importance of profit, but as someone one who had always put service before self, I could not abide by the damage that was being done to human lives by reckless speculators like Enron.” Five years ago, Pantano presciently wrote of his decision to leave Wall Street in his memoir Warlord. In one story, a Goldman trader, who would later go on to management at AIG, smugly goaded Pantano, “Do you know how much money I made in oil while you were in the Gulf War?” Today, Pantano laments on the AIG bailout, “now all of our children will pay to protect that trader’s private airplane, and that is not okay.”
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