The dark horse in a blue suit

A top oil ministry technocrat who survived deBaathification (twice) and defended Baghdad's Daura refinery against insurgents is running a long-shot bid for Iraq's vicious parliament.

BAGHDAD - It's 9 p.m. in an industrial compound in Baghdad's once-mean but still volatile Daura neighborhood. Dathar al-Kashab, dressed in his trademark blue coveralls, orders his staff with the precision needed to oversee the expansion of the country's second largest refinery.

On this night, however, his staff are the family and friends that makeup an outsider's campaign for a seat in Parliament, one week from pivotal national elections March 7.

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