Who am I?
I am a combat veteran and former CIA officer running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District. I've dedicated my professional life to public service and have always sought out opportunities where I can make an impact.
After I graduated from Columbia University, I served in the Army Rangers between 2001 and 2004, deploying to Afghanistan three times and Iraq once. Following my military service I joined the CIA, working on counterterrorism in the Middle East for six years before managing a team of officers looking at illicit finance issues.
During my service in the CIA I was fortunate enough to use money from the GI Bill to pursue a Masters degree from Georgetown University. Now I'm a married father of two young children, three year old Walter, and one year old Charlotte.
Why am I running?
I am running because I believe strongly in American values and care deeply about the future of our country. Since 2010, Congress has become increasingly divided and has been unable to get the job done. I would go to Washington to work together to solve the problems facing our country.
At CIA I saw first hand how dysfunction in Washington harms our ability to focus on our mission to protect the country. We were repeatedly distracted by budget crises, fiscal cliffs, and debt ceilings, which made it difficult to plan for the future.
Dysfunction also takes a toll on our economy here at home. Whether it's the government shutdown that jeopardized 6,000 jobs in the 8th District, or the destructive sequester, which caused the elimination of over 1,000 jobs in Bucks County, the gridlock costs our community local jobs.
It's clear, the gridlock in Congress has weakened our economic recovery and set our country on an uncertain path. It is time for a new approach to get us back on track.
When I was in the Rangers and the CIA, it didn't matter whether the person next to me was a Democrat or a Republican, we focused on getting the job done. That's the approach that's missing in Washington, and that's the experience I want to bring to Congress.
The working families in Bucks and Montgomery Counties deserve a representative who will work to cut through the dysfunction in Washington, create jobs and fight for the middle class. I will fight for sustainable, long-term solutions that will remove the uncertainty in our budget and get our economy back on track.
I believe that individual liberties are inherent to a free society and must be defended. I will work to protect a woman's right to make decisions about her own health and fight for marriage equality.
Finally, as combat veteran, I find the backlog of claims at the Veterans Administration (VA) unacceptable. There are hundreds of thousands of veterans who served their country and now need our help. I would make it a personal priority to eliminate the backlog at the VA.
My DFA Values
I believe strongly in DFA values of liberty, community, and security. Liberty and community are the values that inspired to me serve my country as an Army Ranger and a CIA officer--I believe those values are part the fabric of American society and should be defended.
I grew up in a strong community in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where I attended public schools before heading to college. Throughout my young adult life, I consistently looked for opportunities to do community service. For example, in high school I served on a Youth Aid Panel to mentor at-risk children and at Columbia I worked at a volunteer organization in Harlem.
America's respect for individual liberty is one of our country's greatest virtues. While overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan I saw societies that denied basic liberties to people because of their gender or sexual orientation, or were marred by ethnic and religious violence. These experiences made me proud of America's respect for diversity, but I also know that these liberties should never be taken for granted and that our political leaders must at all times be vigilant in ensuring equality for all Americans.
Community and liberty were my primary motivations for volunteering to defend our country. During my time in public service I also saw the importance of being energy independent--our reliance on foreign oil leaves us economically and physically vulnerable--as well as building strong diplomatic relationships with foreign partners. I also believe that our national security is dependent first and foremost on reinvesting at home. That means making our economy competitive in the 21st century global economy by educating our youth and rebuilding our infrastructure.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Getting our message out will require a strong grassroots campaign. That means engaging supporters to join our campaign from the very beginning to attend events, knock doors and call voters.
It also means working with township Democratic committees and elected officials in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. For example, in the fall of 2013, we worked together to get out the vote and help progressives win seats at all levels of government.
Finally, we are building an ongoing conversation with our supporters online to spread the word with petitions and social media campaigns.