Avoided murder trial – he’s ready for primary season!

A former Marine once charged with murder in the deaths of two Iraqis is running for Congress in North Carolina.

Ilario Pantano…announced Thursday that he’s running for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Mike McIntyre.

Five years ago, the 2nd lieutenant entered a military court, facing two counts of premeditated murder. Eventually, Pantano was cleared of killing two Iraqis.

He wasn’t “cleared” – the military decided he shouldn’t be tried. He admitted shooting and killing two unarmed Iraqis – over 80 times – he said were acting suspicious.

Pantano feels his background will act as a function of his experiences as he runs for Congress.

“Anybody’s background in a political race is fair game,” said Pantano. “My life has been more dramatic and kinetic than any other candidates…”

Since his acquittal, Pantano has gone on to write an autobiography called, “Warlord.” He has also served as a special deputy for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

Oh, and what was his best job before he went to Iraq for the Marines? He was a commodity trader for Goldman Sachs.