A candidate for the Rhode Island legislature received an unusual endorsement - from the mayor of Fallujah, Iraq.
Republican James Haldeman, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, worked in Iraq last year from March until October. He ran the civil military operations center in Fallujah, overseeing reconstruction of water-treatment and power plants, schools and other facilities.
Haldeman, 50, a pilot for American Airlines, came out of military retirement to go to Iraq. He is running for the seat held by state Rep. John Patrick Shanley Jr., D-South Kingstown.
The endorsement letter from Mayor Dhari Abdul Hadi al-Irssan describes Haldeman as Fallujah's "favorite USA colonel." Al-Irssan said he would support Haldeman for president if he chose to run for that post as well.
"As flattered as I am," Haldeman said. "I think that to serve in (House) District 35 will be plenty for me right now.