Alek Skarlatos filed to run for the state House from southern Oregon. (Photo by Skarlatos campaign via Oregon Capital Chronicle)

After two failed runs for Congress, former Army National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos is running for the state House from southern Oregon. 

Skarlatos, a Republican, filed to run this week from the 4th House District, which includes part of the Rogue River Valley and several small communities in southern Oregon. Current Rep. Christine Goodwin, R-Canyonville, is running for Senate and will challenge either sitting Sen. Art Robinson or his son Noah, depending on the outcome of an Oregon Supreme Court case over Republican senators who missed more than 10 days of work trying to run for reelection. 

Skarlatos did not return a call or text from the Capital Chronicle on Friday about his campaign. His campaign website still reflects his 2022 bid for Congress, when he lost to Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Oregon, by seven points. 

The 31-year-old gained international attention in 2015, when he and two friends stopped a terrorist on a Paris-bound train. He later starred as himself in a film about the attack, then pivoted to politics, running unsuccessfully for the Douglas County Commission in 2018 and for Congress in 2020 and 2022. 

His 2022 campaign was marred by revelations first reported by the Capital Chronicle that he joked during a podcast about strangling women during sex. Hoyle featured the comments in attack ads, and voters asked about them in public forums. 

The Federal Election Commission also investigated and ultimately cleared Skarlatos’s decision to use $93,000 left over from his 2020 campaign to seed a nonprofit veterans group and then transfer $65,000 back to his campaign a few months later when he decided to run for office again. 

Skarlatos is so far the only candidate to file for the 4th House District, which has nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats. The filing deadline is March 14. 

Oregon Capital Chronicle

Oregon Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oregon Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Lynne Terry for questions: Follow Oregon Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.

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