I was born and raised in Clinton, IA. My parents divorced when I was 2. I lived with my mother, Jane, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and deemed permanently disabled by 1987. Mom never remarried and remains the strongest fighter I’ve ever met. Even with her diminished mobility, she is more active than any of us.
My father, Dennis, is a union welder and pipe fitter whom I visited on the weekends growing up. Dad went on to marry Mary, my bonus mom, and I was given two incredible step-brothers, Dustin and Jesse, by the age of 11. Today, as I raise my own children, we remain a wonderfully blended family just like so many others in Iowa. Life is really great and I am thankful to the people that raised me.
It’s important to understand that I don’t just talk Progressive politics – my life is grounded in them.
You see, my mother faced the brutal reality of being single and unable to work because of a debilitating disease by the time she turned 28. My formative years relied on monthly Social Security checks, free lunch programs, and heating assistance. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The Franciscan University through PELL Grants and Subsidized Stafford loans. I then went on to fund my own Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication from UNI while working full-time.
From 2004 on, I focused my career on insurance, investments, and estate planning.
I specialized in helping Iowa farm families move agriculture assets from one generation to the next. It was incredibly rewarding work and exposed me to amazing Iowans all over the state.
I am 110% convinced that Iowa’s farm families are some of the most professional, prudent, and hard-working enterprises ever. But, there is a darker side to financial services, one that favors profits over people. It was that reality that kept me up at night and forced a hard realization: I was not going to trade my integrity for a high salary any longer.
After a decade of Wall Street caliber finance on Main Street, I decided it was time to use my business acumen for myself. So, with the help of a Grundy County Economic Development loan, I launched a global online marketing company in 2014 from my kitchen table in Dike. That same tiny operation now employs seven people, has worked with 3,000+ clients from 82 different countries and continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Wondering if I still help Iowa farm families? I never stopped. Today, I do it privately, without any conflicts of interest. As a fee-only Chartered Trust and Estate Planner, I promote fiduciary finance that places the clients’ interests ahead of the advisors’ commission. While most people believe that is the way the financial services industry currently operates, it does not. Protecting Iowans from predatory finance is one of my main ambitions with this bid for the capitol. It’s what I know.
Throughout my career I have held executive positions on local boards of directors. I am currently serving as Treasurer of the Black Hawk County 4H-FFA Foundation and Chair of the Grundy County Democratic Central Committee. Seeking political office feels like a natural progression. My platform goes like this:
- I fight to strengthen Iowa’s social safety net because I am one of its success stories. My community came to my aid when my mother had nowhere else to turn. It made an investment in me and I will forever be thankful.
- I work for everyday people because economic prosperity should not be isolated to the wealthy few. I believe the remedy for corporate gluttony is the power of people.
- I will protect our 2nd amendment right to bear arms as a responsible gun owner and support commonsense regulations that protect our children.
- I place my planet above profits and do so with purpose. I want to leave this world in a better place for my children and I am frightened it may be too late. Climate change is a silent, urgent threat that is undermining our ability to prosper. Short-term profits inflated by pollution and corporate malpractice cannot remain the American norm. Capitalism must have ethical standards.
- I choose economic innovation over maintaining the status quo. This includes a stronger minimum wage, universal healthcare for all, expanded broadband infrastructure for the most rural parts of Iowa, and deregulation of cannabis for industrial, medicinal, and recreational purposes. Iowa’s “Brain Drain” must end but young people need a reason to stick around. Our sons and daughters deserve economic opportunities and a better quality of life.
- I will fight for women and children because I believe healthy, thriving families are the key to this state’s future success. By supporting Planned Parenthood and properly funding public education, Iowa families will be my priority.
- Gender exists on a continuum. There is no such thing as an ideal sex and I support policies accepting and accommodating of that fact. Everyone is welcome to join my movement.
Representative government is failing in Iowa. Elected politicians should come from all walks of life and genders.
Elect me and you will bring fresh, progressive ideas to a currently stale, pale, male Iowa Senate.
Many of the current Republican Senators clearly cannot govern in a modern professional environment. It will take a tested leader to join the Senate and fix the broken culture.
I believe I am exactly that leader and I look forward to meeting the people of my district where they are, both physically and politically, in the coming months of my campaign.