I had the unique opportunity to sit down with John Flerlage, Democratic candidate for US House of Representatives from Colorado District 6, running against Republican incumbent Mike Coffman . John is a former career Marine jet fighter pilot who is now flying commercial airliners.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I've got to tell you I was totally impressed. His depth of knowledge and intensity is reflective of the time he has spent preparing for this race, and his broad range of global experience. The majority of registered voters in CD6 is Republican and John faces an uphill battle, but the man is determined to win.
I was especially impressed by his statement of Why I Am Running for Office and how the story of Max Cleland affected him.
He doesn't dwell on it, but his service record is very impressive. I spent some time myself as a Midshipman aboard the USS Wasp aircraft carrier, so I've seen first-hand what it takes to fly a jet fighter from one of these moving platforms.
From his website:
John Flerlage is currently an airline captain who served 22 years in the Marine Corps before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Marine Reserve in 2000. Over his eleven active-duty years and eleven years in the Reserves, John flew the F/A-18 Hornet and A-4 Skyhawk. He also served in various Squadron and Group level leadership and staff positions and taught classes in world affairs, strategic commitments and the operation of fighters and other tactical aircraft at the Marine aviation advanced tactics school. During his reserve years, John also volunteered and flew missions in support of NATO operations in Bosnia, and in 1996, he was chosen to fly the Hornet aboard the USS George Washington in the first Marine Reserve carrier qualifications to be held in over fifteen years.
Click here to go to his website.
You'll also find a playlist of short videos from the interview here.
I don't live in CD6, but all of Colorado needs this kind of representation, and John deserves our support.