"Like all parents, what I want most in the world is for my kid to have a better life than I did. That’s the American Dream."
Why I'm Running
Until just a few years ago, I never dreamed of running for office. After all, I’ve spent more time driving a forklift than wearing a suit… people like me don’t do that. My focus was on working hard so I can give my daughter Emily the best life possible.
But I’ve been angrier and angrier at how career politicians Just. Don’t. Get It. They’re always talking on cable news about how tough things are for ordinary Americans, and never doing anything for us.
If things are ever going to change, we need the voices of real working folks in Congress – people who share our values and our worries.
I’ve been laid off. I’ve struggled to find a job I could provide for my family with. I’ve been hurt and couldn’t afford to see a doctor, and skipped medications to make ends meet. I’ve lost all I worked for and had to build it back up again. I’ve lived the challenges those politicians are always talking about.
I want to go to Washington and fight for what we really need – good jobs, affordable health care, and the chance to give our kids a fair shot at a good life. Isn’t it about time we had congressmen who did?
What matters to me
Like all parents, what I want most in the world is for my kid to have a better life than I did. That’s the American Dream.
I’m raising my daughter right here in the same place where I grew up. Looking around our community, it seems like that dream’s much harder to achieve than it was back when my parents were raising me. There are fewer opportunities for working people, and challenges I never imagined then. I’ve been through too many of them myself.
I see Jim Jordan and professional politicians like him more focused on their own self-interest and the needs of billionaires than on fixing any of it. I believe that it’s our duty to stand up for what’s right instead of standing by and watching. That’s what I’m doing now.
Where I Come From
I’ve called Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District home most of my life. I was born and raised in Lima, and I graduated from the Lima Bath School District with the Class of 1985. My teenage daughter goes to the same public schools I attended.
I grew up in a family with a tradition of service to this country. My father wore the uniform of the United States Air Force before providing maintenance to large machines as a member of UAW Local 1765. My mother stayed at home to look after me and my three siblings – they were a great team. After high school, I followed in my father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Army, where I proudly served as a military policeman.
Following an honorable discharge, I worked as a police officer with the Department of Defense while I was a military spouse. I then got a job as a forklift driver and started climbing up the ladder to a supervisor position. In 1998 I earned an associate’s degree from the Ohio Institute of Photography & Technology.
Like many around here, I lost my job during the Great Recession. My health care went with it. For a long, scary time I couldn’t find work to support Emily and myself. We moved into an 8 x 10 foot room with all our worldly possessions and cut back wherever we could and some places we really couldn’t. At one point, I suffered a back injury and simply did not have the money to get a doctor to take care of it. It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
After searching 22 months for a job, I finally landed something, starting over on the forklift, and eventually started moving up the ranks again. For most of the last decade, I’ve been working at a warehouse for an auto parts company, and I’m now a warehouse manager for a major food manufacturer.
My family has missed paychecks during the pandemic and worried about getting our bills paid, but we’ve been luckier than a lot of folks. My friends, my neighbors and too many people in my community are going through really tough times. It’s not the first time for a bunch of them, either. Way before coronavirus it was too hard for people like us to find jobs that paid well enough to give you some peace of mind, and no one’s giving us reason to think that’ll change any time soon. We’re frustrated and we’re frightened.
I decided to run for Congress in 2020 because I was tired of elected officials like Jordan who offered us pandering and empty promises, who didn’t understand what our lives were like and didn’t care. It’s more important than ever now to have leaders who get what we’re dealing with and will fight for us. So I’m stepping up again. I hope I can earn your vote, and bring the perspective of a regular Ohio working man to Washington.