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R.I. candidate get unusual endorsement

/ Source: The Associated Press

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.