Every once in a while it seems that a regular citizen that has done extraordinary things comes by and runs for Congress. Sometimes we take notice. Other times we don’t. There is a candidate running, in albeit a very tough district, for congress that we should all take notice of. His name is Keith Lepor.
As is the case with a lot of candidates that throw their hat in the ring at first not much notice was taken of Mr. Lepor. Then this video of Mr. Lepor’s work in Afghanistan came to light.
Mr. Lepor was shot at by a Taliban sniper, and lived to tell about it. Recently Red Mass Group talked with Mr. Lepor and he recounted that he wished that video hadn’t come out that he’s not trying to run by making himself out to be a hero. He did mention that he had a special mesh system that held his sniper plate that is not standard issues for the Marines. Because of this system he was able to survive and be operational again very quickly. One of the reasons he is running is so that our troops have adequate protection equipment.
Why am I writing about Keith Lepor today? Because an article I came across today. It asks the question can non-politicians be the answer to the problems facing Congress. The article has a lengthy section on Mr. Lepor. What is of particular interest is his biography.
Mr. Lepor was raised in a financially challenged household by a single mother after his father died when he was 13. He understands hardship having overcome cancer as a child. He graduated from Boston University and continued his education at Oxford of University not with scholarships, but with student loans and work in a variety of part-time jobs including in restaurants and college security details. Mr. Lepor has a business background having worked for a boutique consulting firm focused on East Asia, has undertaken business development work for clients in business and finance and has contributed to articles on international and strategic relations in several publications. He published a book in 1997 entitled After the Cold War (University of Texas Press, 1997) whose foreword was written by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. This book helped focus the international debate and discussion of the emerging world order and the US role therein and will soon be available on demand in paperback.
As a photojournalist Mr. Lepor has worked throughout Africa and his last assignment there was in Central Africa with the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations and Office of the Spokesman covering instability in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. His most recent significant international assignment was a year spent as a Forward Media Team Leader for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF/NATO) in Afghanistan. He managed a team of Afghan print and radio journalists in addition to his work as a combat photojournalist working in support of US and Coalition forces in eastern (Kunar, Ghazni, Nangahar, Parwan, Kapisa) and southern Afghanistan (Helmand & Kandahar).
There is a full interview in that article and it’s worth a read. If you can help Keith with a donation, do so today.