I’m a third generation Central Mainer from a big-hearted Franco-American family. I grew up in central Maine, studied in the public schools, and worshipped at Sacred Heart Church. I was raised with a deep respect for the honest, hard-working people of Maine.
My father was a teacher, coach, and principal in my home town public schools for 25 years. My mother was a nurse at local hospitals and nursing homes. Like most Central Maine families struggling to get by, my parents worked hard, spent wisely, and made time to help neighbors and volunteer at church.
I worked my way through college, studying economics, by cleaning bathrooms and busing dining hall tables. Back in Central Maine during the summers, I dug sewer lines and painted metal roofs to buy my books and help pay tuition.
After college, I started my business career in Chicago and then New York City. It was a big adjustment and tough environment for a small town kid from Maine. However, I worked hard and learned what it takes to grow an economy and create jobs.
For the next 35 years, I started and managed businesses that created hundreds of jobs. One investment company managed $5 billion of worker pension funds for clients such as Bath Iron Works and International Paper, two of Maine’s largest employers at the time. Every day, my partners and I were entrusted with safely and productively investing the retirement savings of tens of thousands of American workers and their families here in Maine and across America.
In 1989, my high school sweetheart and I returned home to Maine and got married. We were excited to start our own family back in Maine among parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and long-time friends. Our wonderful son was born the next year.
Shortly thereafter, a family tragedy left me raising Sam as a single dad while he was still in diapers and using bottles. I quickly learned first-hand how fragile and precious life is. I have a deep understanding of how rewarding but challenging it is to raise children alone.
For 17 terrific seasons, I volunteer coached Maine baseball and softball players in Little League, high school, and college. It was my way to give back to the next generation of Mainers, teaching them the values of teamwork and sacrifice. To this day, I stay in touch with many of my former players who are now raising their own families. In 2003, I was honored to receive the Portland Press Herald’s High School Baseball Coach of the Year Award.
I view my commitment to improving how government operates as giving back in a broader way to my beloved home state for three generations.
As State Treasurer, I advanced fiscal discipline, business common sense, and real solutions to Maine’s serious problems. My goal has been to help build a pro-economic growth climate that creates more jobs, less welfare, more liberty, and better lives for our citizens.
I helped lead the successful initiative to better secure the retirement benefits for Maine teachers and state employees while addressing the State’s fiscal crisis. The reforms eliminated $1.7 billion of pension debt which reduced government spending by $200 million per year. That, in turn, allowed the largest income tax cut in Maine history, primarily benefitting the working poor. All the while, the pension checks to retirees kept flowing.
While State Treasurer and board member of Maine Housing Authority, I exposed cronyism and helped end spending nearly $300,000 for subsidized one-bedroom apartments. The ongoing savings is allowing state government to help more vulnerable Maine families looking for warm places to call home.
I worked closely with the Governor’s Office to facilitate the expansion of natural gas throughout Maine. I used my business and financial experience to aid in the construction of a growing network of pipelines to bring natural gas to our factories, mills, schools, hospitals, office buildings, and homes.
Natural Gas development has the potential to lower our energy costs by almost 50%, creating more jobs and saving Maine families on average $1,500 per year to heat their homes.
My real world business, government, and life experiences have prepared me well to tackle head-on America’s pressing problems.
As Maine’s Second District Congressman that is what I have done, from pushing solutions to the Heroin Epidemic as a Member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, to fighting unfair foreign government subsidies harming Maine jobs, to working for Veterans’ benefits and for policies to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for our Seniors.
I’m proud to be from Maine. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the State that has given so much to our family.