WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The May primary is long over, but two Republican candidates who ran for Congress are ganging up to oppose their party's nominee Ilario Pantano.
Pantano beat out Will Breazeale and Randy Crow in the May 4th primary. Tuesday, Breazeale and Crow held a press conference to tell the public that Pantano was not the right choice. Both questioned Pantano's character and his military background.
Many in the crowd are calling Breazeale a hypocrite. Breazeale said his words were coming from an American, not a Republican. He also mentioned that he, in no way, was endorsing Mike McIntyre, the incumbent Democratic congressman in NC's 7th District. In fact, he said he will leave the space blank when he votes in November.
"By no means do I want Mike McIntyre to win," said Breazeale. "I want a Republican to win, but I want a Republican to win that can win."
One hour after Breazeale and Crow's announcement, Pantano held his own conference across town in response to Breazeale and Crow. Pantano presented his military record and certificate for honorable discharge.
"Clearly this race has turned personal," said Pantano. "The fact that we won it two weeks ago, and we are still talking about it speaks to someone's ability to move on."
His wife, lawyer, mother and others spoke about his character. The seventh district GOP party is behind Pantano.
"I think you learn more about someone in how they handle defeat than victory," said Pantano.
Breazeale says he will never run for office again.