I’ve always described myself as a pretty average person, maybe a bit nerdy, definitely a simple guy with simple needs, not someone who needs to be the center of attention or who has to get the credit for things. This isn’t me being self-deprecating or belittling. I consider myself average because I can be happy staying in at night watching Netflix with my wife and kids. I say I’m a bit nerdy because I love reading books, learning about new things, and can get geeked out over some things people may have no interest in (and I’m a big superhero fan.) I classify myself as a simple guy because I learned a long time ago that if you can’t be happy with what you have, no matter how little, then there is a good chance you’re not going to be happy. I never felt the desire to be the center of attention because I believed I always had more to learn by watching and listening than I did by having people look at me. And I was never really worried about getting the praise as long as I saw progress being made—I think that goes back to being simple and happy.
Not the typical checklist for someone running for office, I know. I wanted to address these things because I believe it’s important for you, the people I’m looking to represent, to know me. Looking at things as an outsider, as a regular guy who has never been involved with politics, I always knew what I wanted to see from a politician. Let me tell you, I have been let down far more often than I have had my expectations met. This is what led me to get out of my comfort zone and pursue this daunting task. I went from going to work, watching to high school football games, taking my son to piano lessons, trying to stay on top of my bills, doing yard work and fixing up the house to traveling around 32 counties spread out over 25,000 square miles. I went from being a part of the crowd to standing in front of the crowd. I went from making it a point to stay quiet and reserved to addressing thousands of people about the importance of standing up for what you believe in, the need to fight for the future, the planet and our children, and the danger of being complacent with where we are.
It’s funny to think about, but very few things have made me feel as good as I do when I am out there, nervous as hell, completely vulnerable, telling people that we must act now. I still don’t care about the credit for things. I’m still a nerd. I still have simple needs, and despite having a very full schedule and being involved with many exciting things I am still a pretty average guy. Sometimes things can be difficult, but whenever the adversity starts to build, whenever the criticism stings a little more than usual, whenever the task seems to become too much, I remind myself why I am here in the first place. I have to look no further than my kids for all the doubt, fear and stress to wash away. I care about the country. I care about the state. I care about the issues. But above it all, I care about the future. If we are not out there fighting for the youth, for the future, then what is the point of it all?