Democratic candidate for Congress Kenneth Aden's purported background as a Green Beret should be an asset in the veteran-filled 3rd congressional district in Arkansas, but there's just one problem -- he's never been a Green Beret.
On multiple occasions, Aden has claimed that he is a veteran of the elite group of the U.S. Army. In February, for example, Aden told a reporter about his military record: "I served in the Army. I finished up my time, my tour of duty with, you know, Green Berets, special forces."
But a recent investigation by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found that Aden's military records "indicate he washed out of Special Forces training, not once but three times." In other words, Aden never met the qualifications to become a Green Beret.
"I am a Special Forces-qualified soldier," Aden insisted in a phone interview with the paper. "I completed the entire course." But he conceded that he did not have the paperwork to prove it.
"He is not a Green Beret," said a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center, which is in charge of Special Forces training for the U.S. Army, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
While Aden did serve for more than a decade in the Army, his military record will now likely become an electoral liability rather than an advantage.
And even before these allegations surfaced, Aden faced a challenging race in Arkansas. The state's 3rd district is overwhelmingly Republican, and GOP incumbent Steve Womack won with 65 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm elections.
10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:
- Charlie Rangel declared victory over State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, but the fight isn't over yet as the incumbent's 2,300-vote lead is rapidly shrinking [New York Daily News]
- Lines drawn in three suburban congressional races [Chicago Tribune]
- Congressional candidates weigh in on health care ruling [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Gubernatorial candidates Hill, Bullock at odds on health care ruling [Missoulian]
- Congressional candidates weigh in on health care ruling [The Beacon News]
- Two GOP congressional candidates visit [Crossville Chronicle]
- Rep. Joe Donnelly votes with GOP to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt [Indy Star]
- Taxpayers on hook for3M for CD8 vote [Arizona Daily Star]
- Health-care ruling divides Arizona congressional leaders [The Arizona Republic]
- Meeks wins 5th CD seat in Dem. primary [Queens Chronicle]
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