New GOP Senate Candidate Fought Taliban on Horseback

Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc challenging Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire

Brig. Gen. Don Buldoc / Twitter

The first Republican to challenge two-term Democratic New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen is a decorated Army veteran who led a Special Forces team through Afghanistan on horseback to fight the Taliban.

Retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc spent 36 years in the U.S. Army, during which he earned two awards for valor, five Bronze Star medals, and two Purple Hearts. He was deployed for 10 tours of duty in Afghanistan and was part of the legendary "Horse Soldiers" who traveled across Afghanistan's mountainous terrain to fight the Taliban immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The mission, featured last year on the big screen in 12 Strong, was also featured in a video posted by Bolduc Monday morning announcing his run against Shaheen.

Since retiring, Bolduc has emerged as a leading voice on post-traumatic stress. His work to de-stigmatize the condition so more veterans feel comfortable seeking out help was featured in 2016 by the New York Times. 

Bolduc says he was often urged to run for office as he traveled across New Hampshire speaking out about PTS and has now decided the time is right.

"I am anything but a politician," Bolduc said, "but like many Americans today, I am ticked off by the partisan mindset on display in Washington—a politics-first attitude that is blocking solutions to real-life issues that affect each of us and our families."

"After some long conversations with my family, I now plan to do what I have been taught and trained to do my whole life: to try and make a positive difference in the lives of the people I love, the state I love, and the country I love."

Bolduc joined the Army just 11 days after he graduated from high school in 1981. He survived both a helicopter crash and a 2,000-pound bomb accidentally dropped on his unit's position during his years on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

In 2013, he was promoted to brigadier general and sent to command antiterror operations in Africa. He retired in 2017 and lives with his service dog Victor.