Checkered tenure in Iraq follows Democratic congressional candidate Kim Olson

Air Force veteran Kim Olson, who is running for Texas’s 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House, steered federal money to a company she owned while she was serving in Iraq.

Just mere months after losing the race for agriculture commissioner to incumbent Sid Miller, Olson, a Democrat, announced her bid to challenge Rep. Kenny Merchant (R-Coppell).

Olson, who was previously elected to the Weatherford Independent School District Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2011, not only has to contend with Texas 24 steadfastly committed to staying red but will have to answer questions regarding her service in Iraq more than a decade ago.

The retired Air Force colonel is alleged to have abused her position by enriching a company that she founded with federal dollars. Assigned to the Pentagon comptroller’s office with the responsibility of keeping tabs on the Air Force budget on Capitol Hill sometime before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Olson agreed to an executive officer position under retired three-star general Jay Garner only to find herself under investigation months into the war, according to a July 2018 Austin American-Statesman article.

In a campaign video titled “Battles” posted to YouTube about a month ago, Olson stated that she was reprimanded for getting security personnel paid.

The Los Angeles Times, however, reported that Olson did much worse than what she claimed in the 3-minute video. Pentagon investigators, the Times reported, alleged that Olson – while on active duty in a position of leadership – set up an American branch of a South African security firm after helping it secure more than $3 million in contracts to provide protection for senior coalition officials in addition to Halliburton subsidiary KBR.

Olson eventually received an Article 15, a nonjudicial punishment for less serious infractions, which spared her full rank, and an honorable discharge. A 3-year ban from receiving government contracts was imposed on her as well.

Last November, Olson failed to unseat Miller, who won 51 percent of the vote. The next primary election is on March 3, 2020 with the general election on Nov. 3, 2020.

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