Jan. 19, 2016 02:50 PM

Greg Ellison
Photo by Robin May

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Greg Ellison, an Iraq War veteran who runs Kitty Hawk Energy, confirmed Tuesday that he has raised $100,000 in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany.

The Lafayette Republican announced his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District last Tuesday in front of approximately 400 people at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Boustany is seeking the Senate seat currently held by David Vitter, who is not running for re-election.

Among Ellison's supporters are first-time donors he says believe his leadership skills are what South Louisiana needs.

“We are living in trying times. I’m concerned about what the future holds for our children,” Ellison said in a press release announcing the contributions. “I don’t know if they will be able to pursue the American Dream in the same way we did unless we make some changes. Our national and economic security is at risk. After 20 years in the military and another 19 in the oil and gas business, I believe I am the only candidate in this race with the experience to ensure the security of the people of the 3rd Congressional District and our great nation.”

Ellison graduated from West Point, led troops in the first Iraq War and earned a bronze star and Legion of Merit. He is a founding partner of Kitty Hawk Energy, a Lafayette-based oil and gas exploration company, which he started after retiring from the military 12 years ago. He lives in Lafayette with his wife, two children and three grandchildren.

Lafayette businessman and District 8 Lafayette Parish School Board member Erick Knezek, a Republican, is expected to announce his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District this week; term-limited state Rep. Brett Geymann, a Republican from the Lake Charles, has been campaigning for the seat since late last year, LaPolitics reported in December.