Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pig Noses a Far Cry from Iraq for Delegate from Jacksonville; Naval Reservist, Back from War Only a Month, Proves a Media Star

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pig Noses a Far Cry from Iraq for Delegate from Jacksonville; Naval Reservist, Back from War Only a Month, Proves a Media Star

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID DECAMP, The Times-Union

NEW YORK -- It had been a late night and early Tuesday morning, and Jack Capra's left eye was acting up again, bloodshot from an old injury.

To make matters worse, the Republican National Convention delegate from Jacksonville was standing outside his hotel in Manhattan, searching for words to describe to a CNN camera why people were wearing fake pig noses and disparaging Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Those are the pig people," the 39-year-old said. "They're protesting -- something."

After a late first night of the convention, Capra's second day included several speakers over breakfast -- and a bit of fatigue. A delegate's day is normally filled with meetings and parties and hours on the convention floor. Capra, a husband and father of a baby daughter, has even more attention and demands on him

All of which was better, however, than having his envoy blown up by a mortar in Basra, Iraq.

Capra's path to New York was a different than most delegates. He served about seven months in Iraq as a Navy reserve attorney, activated to help stop smuggling in occupied Iraq. He was presented a Purple Heart and other awards there, with the eye injury part of after effects of the blast and trauma.

Just about four weeks ago, he returned and was named an at-large selection for the convention by Gov. Jeb Bush and other party leaders. They realized his story, spotlighting him among delegates. CNN caught wind, following him this week and handing him a video recorder to use when they couldn't. British and French press have found him.

Indeed, Duval County Republican Chairman Mike Hightower, a top fund-raiser for President Bush, has nudged him along inside the local GOP, hoping to cultivate a future candidate. Capra kept his spot on the local party's executive committee after he left in January for Iraq. …

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