I AM ONE OF YOU
I am running for United States Senate because I care about people. I care what happens to you, to your lives and your happiness. I care about this State and this country so much it hurts. I care about our financial future, transparency of our Government and the social cohesion of our society. In a global and historical sense, I'm so proud and privileged to be an American. This is not something I take for granted.
Who am I? I’m a Wisconsinite. I speak your language.
I AM ONE OF YOU.
You know me. Look in the mirror. I’m a guy like you. I’m your brother or dad or grandpa, the guy you see at church or sitting across from you at the bar. I’m getting married to a gal like you or your mom or grandma. When I say I’m a Wisconsinite, when I say that the soul of the Wisconsinite flows through my blood and is in my bones you know exactly what I mean.
You get it, because you feel it too.
I’m the guy that turns around and high fives you after a routine first down at a Packer game. I’m the guy you used to shoot the shit with at deer registration stations. I’m the guy that sees a pin on your lapel or the words on your water bottle, stops you, sticks out my hand and thanks you for your service. I’m the guy that you see in the parking lot helping an elderly couple load their car. I’m the guy fighting like hell to give the little girl who always dreamed of her Disney prince showing up to sweep her off her feet at least a modern day, Midwestern version of that dream. I’m the guy that throws your drink on my tab at Friday Fish Fry because I feel bad the waitress had to muddle 4 Old Fashioneds and made you wait. I’m the guy you want across from you on the euchre table, not the side. I’m the guy that thinks your new gun is a beauty and thinks your patriotism is even more beautiful. I’m the guy that wants to restore regular order and cooperation in the Senate. I’m the guy that wants to set the tone for young men in our society. I’m the guy that can sit on a barstool and carry on a conversation with every single person in this State. I’m the guy that is willing to burn at the stake for your freedom.
I’m the man that is going to bring America back together again.
I have had a life full of diverse experiences and gained wonderful perspectives through my efforts, curiosity, hard work and a little luck along the way. I've seen the world from a lot of different viewpoints and looked into the eyes of people from all walks of life, different countries and locales. I intend to take the lessons learned from my experiences, education, perspectives and research with me to the United States Senate for the betterment of Wisconsin and the advancement of America.
I am a product of the two greatest parents in the world. Good ol’ Wisconsin people. Both parents are relentlessly caring and set a great example for how to be an honest, caring and respectful person and member of society. I am a product of generations of family members with a strong commitment to military service and public service at the Federal, State, County and City levels. I am a product of families from both the city and small town Wisconsin. I live and work in Madison and I hunt in Columbia county. I'm sure some good ol’ Wisconsin country folks are already grumbling that “Ahh, here's another Madison guy,” but when they see me and meet me they'll know, in my heart and in my soul, I am one of them. I’m a product of a generation where we still ran around the neighborhood until the street lights came on but also grew up right along with the internet. I'm old enough to gripe about the 'way things used to be' but also have my life integrated on my smartphone. I sit at an inter-sectional crossroads between the traditional past and the changing future. I am a product of the University of Wisconsin School of Business, earning degrees in Finance and International Business. I have been shaped by my experiences with other cultures. I packed my life up twice and moved to the other side of the world and lived with people from all over the planet. I’ve made my cultural mistakes but I’ve also learned how to effectively interact with people from other cultures and would be proud to be a part of our committee on Foreign Relations if allowed.
I’ve had a job or been a full time student since I graduated high school. I've been a salaried employee and an hourly one. I've worked alongside union employees and non-union. I worked 76 days in a row out in the hot sun at one point carrying mail for the United States Post Office to pay for college and have spent more hours of my life smelling like french fries than I want to talk about. When I graduated in 2009 my education wasn’t enough to land me a job or even an internship in the finance world. I was blessed to receive an opportunity to manage the kitchen at one of Wisconsin’s busiest restaurants. I learned valuable lessons about people, management, cost savings, small businesses and dedication. That experience put me in a position to get in the door at CUNA Mutual Group. I have served in underwriting roles and compliance at both the product and corporate level and now in a position in the treasury. I have had great exposure to negotiation, contract and deal creation, risk assessment and mitigation, insurance principles, managing a large portfolio of revenue, analytics and legal concerns regarding insurance and financial institutions.
Over the past few years I have immersed myself into study of statistics, which is the study of populations. I completed a graduate certificate in applied statistics because I didn’t appreciate politicians quoting misleading statistics and I wanted to improve my statistical literacy. I also have a vision for bringing more public polling and public referendums into our political arena now that life is so connected through the internet. I have studied many different populations, demographics, industries and attitudes in this country. I have studied Facebook like a social science and it has been fascinating, as well as disheartening. I have put more time into understanding trends in modern, human internet interaction than maybe anyone you know. The honesty, the anger, the loud voices, the silent and the silencers. This isn’t going in the right direction. We need to talk about this. Don’t worry, I will take care of it.
I put as much work into understanding the conscience of the conservative as I do the mindset of the liberal. Why? Because I intend to represent everyone. I intend to work with Democrats on solving problems. I think it is important to understand the content and messaging that people are receiving and how that is shaping their worldview. I can pick through the sources and identify the coded wording and bias intended to shove people right or left. Whichever flavor of kool-aid you're drinking, it's terrifying seeing the speed and magnification of old school political tactics being thrust into the minds of Americans. Many of our legislative failures are a function of this polarization, a lack of cooperation and clinging to historical squabbles. Time to move on and grow up. The future of our country depends on it.