Why I am running

The other day I was watching my daughter learn how to ride her balance bike. She was coasting down the slight hill between our house and the neighbors. It was a perfect moment; the grass is starting to green up a little, the sun was low in the sky and it was casting that perfect amber light on the world. The dogs were mulling around and my daughter’s giggles were trailing behind her. It took my breath away and all I could do was look towards the heavens and say “Thank you Lord.” Almost as soon as the words had left my mouth the problems of the world began seeping in. The problems that my daughter is completely oblivious to but will all too soon be hers and her brothers’ problems to deal with.

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The country I know and love and have vowed to protect is evolving into something unrecognizable. Kindness has been replaced with hatred. Our economy was once thriving but now it is turbulent and constantly at risk. Our healthcare system is still broken and is being further eroded by an Opioid crisis. This isn’t the environment that I want to raise my kids in. I grew up on a small farm outside of Bois D’Arc, Missouri and am now raising my own children here in Greene County while working in Emergency Rooms throughout Missouri. There has been a blatant shift in the values of our community and the problems are only getting worse. We need to focus on creating a stronger middle class. We do that by investing in our citizens and strengthening our workforce. We make and buy American made products. We secure healthcare for everyone and prevent medical bills from threatening our workforce. We deal with the Opioid crisis and the other drug related crimes that are threatening our communities. We invest in our education system. We must take care of our military and our veterans.

Eight years ago, Billy Long said he was “Fed up” and he ran his campaign based on that slogan. Well lo and behold he went to Washington and became the very politician he vowed to be “fed up” with. He isn’t representing Missourians or our values. He has sold out to lobbyist and the special interests. Members of his own party are fed up with Billy Long. I too am fed up with him. I don’t care if you are red, blue or purple. It’s time to come together for our country and set partisan politics aside.

It is time to send Billy Long and his buddies home, the proverbial all you can eat buffet in Washington needs to be closed. It is time to say good-bye to his ineffectual governing and hello to change. He has been all too proud to proclaim that he is not going to be bothered with his constituents, declining meetings and town halls, ignoring phone calls, and refusing to represent the people of his district. I will show up for you, it’s time we have a conversation about our country. It’s time to elect a new generation to Congress, someone who appeals to all Missourians. It’s time to get rid of the fast, smooth talking Billy Long for someone who is going to show up and listen to his constituents

Ten years ago, I married my wife Allison. What a decade it has been! We struggled a lot those first years. We struggled through the economic down turn, we struggled to pay mortgage payments, we struggled with medical bills, we struggled when we lost wages that we depended on while dealing with major medical emergencies. We struggled through the lean times, we juggled bills, we cashed out our retirement, we worked overtime and 2nd or even 3rd jobs. When all of our options were pretty much exhausted and we couldn’t see another way to change our financial situation, we took a leap of faith and I went back to school. We became a one car family, sold our furniture and all the things we could do without to ensure we survived while I was in school. We were fortunate to have a network of support, people that we leaned on during those years that we are forever grateful for. Above all else, we prayed. We prayed a lot during those years. I learned a lot about perseverance, mercy and just having faith. Those years strengthen my marriage, deepened my commitment to God and my family and overwhelmingly made me the person I am today. As stressful and long as those days were I am so completely thankful for them.

I have always believed in serving my community. I spent twenty years volunteering for my local Fire Departments. I was mayor of my hometown of Willard for two terms. After completing my Master’s degree, I enlisted with the National Guard and I proudly serve our county and our state. I don’t take my commitment to my community or my country lightly, I proudly and honorably serve.

While I was Mayor of the city of Willard I faced attacks on my character. Often times for decisions that were made by the Board of Alderman. Party politics is not in the job description of a Mayor, but as most Mayors know, politics get in the way. Personal attacks are a risk of public service and unfortunately those personal attacks seem to come with the job. Through the difficult times I faced my opposition; Billy Long will not even show up to face his own constituents if they are not completely aligned with his politics. Billy Long, you represent ALL of the 7th Congressional District, not just the ones that write campaign contribution checks.

We are FED UP!

We are FIRED UP!

We are ready for CHANGE!

All eleven counties of the 7th congressional district of Southwest Missouri DESERVE someone who will show up, even in the face of opposition. Your voices will be heard, I will listen, and I will stand for you in the front of the Capital and be a voice for ALL of Southwest Missouri. Every vote will be in the interest of the people I serve and the state that I love.