Conservative Retired Marine Colonel, Businessman to Take On Democrat Local Vodka Mogul in NC Senate Race

RALEIGH -Mark Cavaliero, a retired Marine Corps Colonel turned business man, filed for North Carolina Senate District 17 on Monday at the Wake County Board of Elections.  He’s the only announced Republican candidate for a district that flipped blue just last election, a Republican casualty of Democrats’ midterm incursions in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. As such, this presidential election represents an opportunity for Republicans to flood the polls and reclaim Republican-leaning districts on the state level, new maps notwithstanding.

Cavaliero, a native North Carolinian, UNC graduate, company commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom, will presumably face incumbent Democrat Sam Searcy in the general election. Initially announcing a run for U.S. House against Congressman George Holding, Searcy, a co-founder of Bedlam Vodka and Graybeard Distillery here in NC, eventually decided to run and was elected to the N.C. Senate in 2018. He didn’t wade into the pool, either, right away pledging $500,000 of his own money to his campaign for state senate.

The financial ammunition doesn’t mean Cavaliero will be outgunned, though. His perspective on the fundamentals gives him a solid foundation, as alluded to in the press release:

“[…] A retired Marine Corps Colonel, Mr. Cavaliero has 30 years of military experience, is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served as Company Commander with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

“In my travels as a Marine, I’ve seen what happens to countries where people are denied freedom and liberty.  I’ve seen how government overreach stifles innovation and extinguishes dreams.  I’ve seen what happens when leaders dictate instead of serving.  With your help, I want to stand up against those who would lead us down the wrong path,” Cavaliero said.

An Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster, Marine Corps Officer and CEO, Mr. Cavaliero understands what it takes to be a leader.  “I will stand up to those who would shackle us with more debt, more government, and less freedom. My pledge to you is that I will tirelessly fight for your rights, your freedom, and your opportunity against those who would impose their agenda on you,” Cavaliero said. […]”

Cavaliero went from the battlefield to business, founding Carolinas IT over 20 years ago. The 21 century business prowess complements the battlefield experience, yet both rely on having the right principles through which to apply it all. Cavaliero seems to walk that walk, and the voters of NC Senate 17 now have a solid alternative to the larger Democratic forces that have dominated their representation in that chamber since the last election.

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