How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “After spending 2 weeks on the road, I plan to spend it with my wife, daughter, and son at a nice restaurant in Nashville, TN, where I currently live. Then, if the weather is nice, build a fire in our new backyard fire pit with friends and family. Paradise…”
How did you get your start in politics? “I’ve always been interested in politics and received my degree in political science from The Citadel before serving in the Army for a little over 21 years. Even though I was an Army Aviator most of my career flying UH-60 Blackhawks, I did serve a ‘political’ tour in the U.S. Embassy to Belgium in the Defense Attaché Office in Brussels. I was back in politics and loved it! I retired from the military in ’06 and was honored to be hired by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) as Oklahoma’s state director and served there for 6 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start to understand the free market and the forces aligned against it.”
What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading now or finished? And why?
“This may come as a shock to some, but I’m reading ‘Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration.’ I actually find Thomas Friedman very interesting. And even though we may not agree on politics, I’ve always enjoyed his insights on how people think and how economic and tech forces influence the world.”
What is a trend going on in the U.S. or abroad that doesn’t get enough attention?
“Educational choice, or otherwise known as parental choice in education, never gets enough attention. I, as a parent, my neighbors, friends and relatives all complain about the lack of educational choices in our communities on where/how to educate our kids. If you have children, this inevitably will be your #1 issue. Most parents only have options if they 1) can pay for it, or 2) sacrifice for it. It’s the families in failing districts who can’t get out who keep me up at night and make me fearful for our country’s future. We can do better.”
How is the Trump presidency going? “He’s actually doing what promised, which seems to shock a lot of people. Agreed, it’s taking longer than some would like to get tax or healthcare reform, or the infrastructure initiatives moving. But if there’s one thing I learned while working for Mr. Trump it’s to never bet against him. I believe that surrounding himself with loyal people who really care about this country and this presidency is key to a successful administration. And I for one want him to succeed. If President Trump is successful, America is successful.”
What’s a fun fact that people in Washington might not know about you? “I bet most don’t know that back in the late 1990’s I was once a pharmaceutical representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. After leaving the U.S. Embassy in Belgium in 1996, I was hired as a pharmaceutical rep in Sacramento, CA by an Army buddy. It was a short-lived career as I was quickly recalled back into the military and stayed for 10 more years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. It was an interesting experience and far different from what I had done before.”