Desert Storm vet kicks off presidential bid

Presidential candidate Chris Hill, left, met Iowa veteran leader Lee Booten, right, during the Iowa Ag Summit earlier this month. Booten will serve an important roll in Hill's campaign by seeking the support of Iowa's veterans. (submitted photo)

Presidential candidate Chris Hill, left, met Iowa veteran leader Lee Booten, right, during the Iowa Ag Summit earlier this month. Booten will serve an important roll in Hill’s campaign by seeking the support of Iowa’s veterans. (submitted photo)

By The Iowa Statesman


While the headlines over the weekend focused on a U.S. Senator from Texas who is expected to announce his formal candidacy for President of the United States later today, another official candidate has already been working over the state, growing support in a key demographic.

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Air Force combat pilot, Christopher V. Hill, formally opened his Iowa campaign with a series of events in the Des Moines area beginning last weekend.

Hill, who flew over 50 missions in Operation Desert Storm met with veterans and other members of the public, which he refers to as “patriots,” Sunday at the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines. He also has scheduled campaign events in Ankeny, Waukee, and on the Iowa State campus. Click here (and scroll down to “Upcoming Events” on the home page) for exact dates, times, and locations.

“I believe strongly that Iowans and Americans everywhere are ready for a fresh choice and a new approach to issues,” Hill said. “Veterans bring a vision that empowers people not government. I know from my earlier visits to Iowa that people are tired of the same old names and same big-money supporters dictating how we should live as Americans.”

Born in Indiana and raised in New Jersey and New Hampshire Hill, 51, is a career airline pilot who has flown for United Parcel Service for more than 20 years.

“As a young man volunteering in 1979 for Ronald Reagan, I was inspired by his love of freedom and passion for America,” Hill said. Like 1980, this coming election will impact the future of America for our children and grandchildren.”

Hill is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Political Science. A Cadet Corps Commander and Distinguished Graduate of Air Force ROTC, he was selected to attend a highly competitive program called Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. Hill lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Michele. They have one son.

“My Presidential qualifications are rooted in my service as an Officer in the United States Air Force,” Hill said. “I took the Oath to our Constitution at 22 years old. It was an Oath to serve and protect ALL Americans. As President, I will be guided by that same oath.”

Hill’s campaign has focused largely on attracting fellow veterans. Lee D. Bootona Vietnam veteran who co-chaired the “Veterans for McCain” effort in Iowa in 2008, will serve as the campaign’s “Veterans for Chris Hill for President” chairman in Iowa. His job will be to spearhead Hill’s fundraising efforts among the state’s more than 376,000 veterans.

“I met Chris recently in Des Moines as he prepared to attend the [Iowa Ag] Summit.” Booton said.  “He is a former combat pilot who flew over 50 missions in Desert Storm.  I could tell right away he held a deep passion for reversing the injustices suffered by America’s Vets and for bringing renewed hope to America’s middle class.”

Booton’s has a long record of efforts on behalf of veterans in Iowa.  After serving in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam, Booton, along with other vets, lobbied the Iowa General Assembly for the Iowa Vietnam Veterans Bonus that became law in 1987.

A lifetime VFW member, he is a past VFW Department of Iowa State Senior Vice Commander, as well as a past District Commander and Post Commander.  Lee is also a lifetime AMVETS and Disabled American Veterans, as well as a PVA Lifetime Associated Member and a member of the 40&8.

“Lee Booton is a respected name in Iowa and I’m excited to have his support,” Hill said.  “He believes, as I do, that all American troops deserve a better ‘Welcome Home’ than many have received after serving our nation.”