I'm your neighbor. I was raised in Berkeley Heights, currently reside in Scotch Plains, and have lived in NJ District 7 for over 35 years. I grew up in our towns, played on our sports fields, and was educated in our public schools.
My wife Jen (Cullen) and I have been happily married for 11 years. We're the proud parents of 3 young boys. Jen grew up in our district in Phillipsburg. We both attended Drew University over in Madison. We have roots in the area, seriously deep roots. We were married at St Theresa's in Summit, and held our reception in Basking Ridge. Our network of friends and family is spread across our district like a blanket. Both my brothers and their families still live in District 7, my parents, multitudes of cousins, aunts and uncles. Friends from high school, college, and work. Our roots in the district run deep.
All my career, I've worked in finance and human resources. I've worked for small businesses and large corporations. I've spent time at local companies (Westfield, Berkeley Heights, Morristown, Bedminster) and time in the city (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island). I've even worked and lived overseas for brief periods (Hungary, South Korea). I have Master's degrees from both New York University and Rutgers University. Throughout my career I've traveled across the country, and have met and interacted with sensible and hard-working white collar and blue collar Americans in dozens of states.
On top of my regular job, I'm also an adjunct college instructor. I've taught both finance and competitive strategy in a graduate school setting. I don't believe in rigid education norms. I know it's my job to do my best to prepare my students for the real world, and real business situations. We're there to teach, but more importantly we're there to prepare them for their careers and to be leaders in their field. And I believe in leading by example, never asking someone to do what you haven't done before, rolling up your sleeves and leading from the front. True leaders understand that it's is not about them, but about the people that they serve. They make those around them better.
Did I mention I'm your neighbor? That fact to me is more important than all of the information above. I can relate to what you're going through. We have the same concerns and issues on a daily basis. My kids go to the same public schools as yours. We have the same expenses, the same obligations, the same problems. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And like you, I think our elected representatives make government, and our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, a lot harder than it should be.
I think we need less ego and more common sense in our government policies and decisions. I know we need better leadership across the board. I believe that Congress was intended to be a body of the people, by the people, and for the people. Somewhere along the way, our country lost this sense of public responsibility and citizen government.
And I think we've all had enough. Enough of broken campaign promises, petty squabbling over insignificant issues, and lackluster leadership from our elected officials. We have real problems, and we deserve real solutions.
That's why I'm running for Congress. Because I think we need fewer career public servants, lawyers, and millionaires deciding what's best for our families. We need more people in government that can actually relate to regular Americans. And we need to make that happen.
Help bring common sense back to government.