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Navy SEAL, Shark Tank winner, takes on vulnerable Arizona House Democrat

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A protege of American Sniper, Chris Kyle, and Shark Tank contestant backed by billionaire Mark Cuban on Tuesday said he plans to challenge vulnerable three-term Arizona Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran.

“I'm very, very concerned about the current state of this country and the direction that this country is headed,” Eli Crane told Secrets. “I got a chance and an opportunity to live the American dream. And I want to make sure that the following generations are as blessed as I have been,” added the conservative Republican.

Crane, 41, is entering the race to represent Arizona’s 1st District, one of over two dozen won by former President Donald Trump in 2016, an indication that the race will be tight. Last year, O’Halleran won with 51.6% of the vote, Joe Biden with 50.1%.

Crane said that he plans to seize on the open border policies of Biden, the liberal push for critical race theory education in schools, and election security issues highlighted by ballot concerns in Arizona in 2020.

“I think I'm gonna be able to make this a national race,” he said in a Monday call.

Crane, a high school quarterback in Yuma, left college and joined the Navy just days after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Within days, he was in training and on his second try won his campaign to join the Navy’s special operations SEALs as a sniper on SEAL Team 3.

For two years, he trained with Kyle, the most famous U.S. sniper. “Chris loved making my life, my fellow new guys' lives, a living hell, but he did it because war was tough, and I think he wanted us to be prepared,” Crane said of Kyle.

He served for 13 years and started a Tucson boutique firm with his wife that crafted bottle openers out of .50-caliber shells, an ammo favorite of the SEALs. In 2014, they appeared on the TV show Shark Tank and won the backing of Cuban and Kevin O’Leary for their firm Bottle Breacher. Overnight, they went from six to 35 employees and war veterans, and the business has since grown.

Crane said he is motivated to enter politics because he believes too many politicians do not have “skin in the game” and are just riding out their careers by avoiding big issues, especially those that are also cultural.

“I noticed how few people with influence are willing to talk about things that matter, and it seems like everybody that has a company or a platform, especially in the day and age of ‘cancel culture,’ is unwilling to do so,” said Crane, one of several veterans running in the 2022 House primaries.

“And so, I started thinking to myself, wait a minute, if I fought for this country and I was willing to die for it, and the biggest threat to our country is within, why shouldn't I speak up about it?” he said.

“I really feel like a lot of the fight in this country is in culture. And it's with thought leadership, and I wanted to get involved in that,” he said.

He’s already mapped out his early strategy to take on O’Halleran, calling the Democrat a puppet of liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has voted with her 96% of the time.

Taking on a three-term winner is tough, but Crane said he’s steeled for the fight.

“I proved in the past that I can outperform expectations, that I can overcome adversity, and I can definitely make this a national race,” he said.

“We have a hell of a backstory,” he said, adding, “We started a multimillion-dollar brand, out of a car garage with a Dremel tool, some spray paint, and a computer. People want folks going into office that can get things done, overcome the odds, and do more with less, and we've proven that we can do that.”

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Tags: Washington Secrets, 2022 Elections, Arizona, 9/11 Generation, Navy SEALs

Original Author: Paul Bedard

Original Location: Navy SEAL, Shark Tank winner, takes on vulnerable Arizona House Democrat

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