THIS IS OUR YEAR!!!
When I ran for office in 2020, I was hoping the campaign would be so much different than it turned out to be. I wanted to meet you all. I wanted to speak at gatherings. I wanted to tell you about myself, tell you what I think, explain why I believe what I believe. I wanted to share my stories and introduce you to my sense of humor. Most importantly I wanted to hear from you, hear what you have to say and learn from your experiences. But COVID-19 restrictions lasted the entire campaign, making these things impossible. I was lucky to meet a few of you when I was walking the neighborhoods of the district, but mostly by chance, as you happened to be outside when I dropped literature at your house. For the most part, my entire campaign was reduced to a combination of online events, social media and a couple of mailings.
This year is going to be different.
With the COVID restrictions of 2020 lifted, I plan to meet most of you. In the meantime, here’s a little bit about myself.
My political beliefs:
- First of all, I am a Republican. You won’t see a Democrat working this hard to get elected in Massachusetts. They have Democrat Privilege. In 2020, I ran my entire campaign while continuing to work at my full-time “day” job. I didn’t get 3 months off at tax-payer expense to campaign. This time I have quit my job to focus on my 2022 run with the goal of meeting as many people as possible.
- I think headlines and the media are an unfortunate consequence of going into public service, not the reason to get into it. Actions and accomplishments should be what gets your name in the news and true leaders do not seek out publicity. Unfortunately, politicians need publicity to get the name recognition required to get elected.
- I appreciate and respect the older people in our communities. Almost half of my campaign donations in 2020 were from people who listed their occupation as “Retired”. I know the financial implications of turning 59 ½ , 62, 65, FRA, and 70 ½(now 72). I understand that tax increases hurt more when you don’t have the ability to generate more income and that property taxes approaching 50% of the purchase price of your home are difficult to afford.
- I don’t apologize for saying “Merry Christmas”. I think embracing diversity means embracing everyone, not everyone except people of a certain religion, or race, or gender or anything else. I think all lives matter and we should genuinely strive to achieve equality, not use our differences for political gain.
- For that matter, I think that labeling anyone anything because they’re different than you is discriminatory. I have been called a lot of things because of my race, gender, age, religion, and mostly my political affiliation. Why is that any different than if it were the other way around? Why is some discrimination acceptable, even encouraged?
- I did not raise more money for my 2020 campaign than was necessary for the election. I spent every dollar that I raised. It’s not about raising the most money. I started the 2020 campaign with $75,000 less than my opponent and finished with $150,000 less. It was never close. My opponent spent 70% more per vote than I did in 2020. Who do you want to manage your money at the State House? This time I’m starting over $200,000 behind.
- I support the Constitution including all the Amendments, although I sometimes question the 17th and 26th (look them up). When I’m elected and sworn in, I’ll mean it when I swear to defend the Constitution. I won’t be committing perjury as others have done.
- I think the real experts on the environment are those who live and work closest to it; the farmers, fishermen, foresters, and outdoorsmen. They have always understood and respected the land and the seas.
- I believe in climate change and global warming. 12,000 years ago we were under a mile high glacier and the oceans were 600 feet lower. I’m just not sure what we can do about it or how much I’m willing to spend on it. It’s a risk/reward thing.
- I never wanted to get into politics, but it’s the only way to get into public service.
As for me personally:
- I was born and raised in Maine; My mother was a schoolteacher and my father was a grounds superintendent; he was also an air national guardsman, city counselor, volunteer fireman, hunter, trapper, farmer, golf course builder and operator, bail commissioner, board member, and most importantly a great dad. He taught me that you can do anything (and everything).
- I have been a SCUBA diver (search and rescue), airplane pilot and owner, and golf course designer and owner (built on my father’s farmland).
- I ran the Boston Marathon 5 times for charity (Red Sox Foundation) including 2013 when my wife was at the finish line and witnessed both bombs exploding, the first from directly across Boylston street, 60 feet away.
- I am a living kidney donor. The first marathon I ever ran was my recovery goal after donating my kidney to my brother (he needed it more than I did). I consider this my greatest accomplishment and yet, it was the easiest to accomplish.
- I have worked in Massachusetts for the past 38 years, starting at Raytheon in Andover in 1984 for 10 years, and moving on to various other companies. I know what it’s like to pay for taxes, employee benefits, health care costs, education and save for retirement.
- I have been unemployed multiple times, most recently in 2019, so I understand the challenges many people are going through today.
- I have chosen to quit my day job to run for State Representative. I am willingly, and possibly foolishly, giving up my income (and paying for health insurance on the open market) to give myself the best possible chance of winning this race.
- I met my wife, Marie (originally from Dorchester), in 1994. Our first date was a U-Maine at Merrimack College hockey game, followed by dinner at China Blossom in North Andover. We have lived in Tewksbury for the past 26 years.