I was raised by a single mom and grew up in a mobile home park. I watched my mom work hard and complete her teaching degree over nine years while raising three kids with the help of my grandmother — who herself worked in a union shoe factory well into her 70s. These strong women showed me what grit and determination look like.
Like my mom, I worked two jobs and took out a little in student loans to put myself through state college. I started my career as a newspaper reporter and worked my way up over 20 years in business to lead a workforce of 16,000 for a major Minnesota manufacturer. Today, my wife and I are moms to four amazing young men. My oldest is now a proud trade school graduate and a machinist, two have now graduated from four-year colleges and our youngest is a recent graduate from Rosemount High School and is a college freshman. In the past two years, we’ve added two daughters-in-law and our grandson Noah to our family.
I worked hard to get where I am, but I was pretty lucky, too. For too many Americans, hard work doesn’t pay off like it used to. College is unaffordable and technical training is unavailable. Healthcare costs too much. Incomes aren’t keeping up with the costs of groceries and prescription drugs. We can do better.
That’s why I ran for Congress, and that’s what I’m working on day-in, day-out since being elected. It’s disappointing that so many politicians seem content to sit back and do nothing but fight among themselves over petty politics.
Instead, I’ve prioritized listening to the concerns of the citizens I represent and working across the aisle to create stronger communities and an economy that works for every Minnesotan.