When my son mentioned to his fiancée that I was considering a run for Congress, her response was, “Normal people can’t run for Congress”. To some extent, this campaign is about proving otherwise. Not only can normal people run for Congress, but we need more normal people running for Federal, State, and local offices throughout our nation. The fact that politics and politicians have become alien to our everyday lives is one of the chief contributors to the dysfunctions of our government today.
I was born in my mother's home town of Conroe Texas in 1964 as the youngest of four children. My father was career Navy and served in the Navy Medical Service Corps for 29 years. Mom and Dad had roots in South East Texas and Louisiana. We moved around quite a bit while I was growing up, but the constants of faith, family, and country provided a foundation that supported us wherever we went. The military treated Dad fairly well and if we ever lacked for necessities I never knew it. But the extra things that kids inevitably want would be things that I’d have to earn for myself. The first of such items was a dirt bike that an old rancher and dear friend in our church had for sale. At the age of ten, I went to work for him on Saturdays clearing brush, moving irrigation lines, planting pasture, and tending the cattle. I’m sure that I got a lot more out of the experience than he got for the money that he gave me to buy his motorcycle.
During the rest of my growing up years I worked a variety of jobs. I was a carpenter’s helper one summer for the youth minister at our church. A neighbor gave me a job as night watch security guard at a small construction site another summer. Another church member gave me and another young man jobs in his orchard one summer. The world has become a different place in a short period of time. I don’t think there are too many security job positions available for 14 year old boys today. I’m grateful to those men that gave me an opportunity to develop a work ethic and a sense of independence. Though it may be more convenient to hire experienced help, I believe to this day that giving young people opportunities to grow and accomplish things is essential to the future of our society and maintaining the American spirit of self reliance.
At 17 I graduated from high school and moved away from home. I took some college classes, but wasn’t sure enough about what I wanted to do to get serious about it. I found work as a brick layer’s helper for a while until the economy turned bad. At that point, working three minimum-wage, part-time jobs at the same time became a great motivator for a young man to get serious about going back to school. After marriage to my wife, Sandra, in 1985, we moved to Fort Worth for her job at General Dynamics and I went back to school. Full-time school, part-time work, an internship with Mobil Oil, and the arrival of our first child kept things pretty busy until graduation from UTA with an Electrical Engineering degree. After graduation I went to work for LTV in Grand Prairie to work on the Patriot Missile program. The next job would take me to the 4th district of Texas, putting my degree and experience to work for Texas Instruments in Sherman, Texas, in 1995.
From 2009 through 2010 I directed an advocacy organization called "Conservatives for Republican Reform" in an effort help encourage the expansion of conservatism within the Republican Party. Today I'm an engineering manager by day, a hobby rancher/landlord by nights and weekends, a casual political blogger, and a GOP precinct chairman in Grayson County. Sandra is teaching high school. After 28 years of marriage, Sandra and I have raised three wonderful Texans, two boys and a girl. All three graduated from Tom Bean High School in Grayson County. The way of life in the 4th district of Texas is worth preserving, and we need a representative that will take that charge seriously. This isn’t the story of a celebrity candidate. But I suspect it’s a lot more like your story than what you hear from some other candidates. Hopefully, this has helped you get to know me a little, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you over the course of this campaign.