I was raised in Whitehall — a South Hills suburb, the youngest of three. My family didn’t have a lot of money, but my parents never let me lose sight of the idea that if I tried my best and I got a good education, I could be anything I wanted to be. This idea lead me to graduation from Gettysburg College, pursuing a commission in the U.S. Navy — graduating with distinction from Officer Candidate School, and eventually to earning a Masters degree from the Naval War College. My 23 year career in the United States Navy, culminating in promotion to Captain, grounded me in a career of public service.
I retired from the Navy in 2003 to serve as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As Assistant Secretary, I was the Department’s lead advocate on Capitol Hill for the nation’s 25 million veterans and their families, protecting and improving their benefits. Most recently I served as the Chief of Veterans Services for Allegheny County.
A career in public service, at the federal and local level, make me uniquely qualified to serve in Harrisburg. My life and my career have been dedicated to these pursuits and I am ready to work for people across our district. I’m tested — I was a Captain in the Navy, and I was confirmed by our friends across the aisle to be Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am ready to hit the ground running on day one as your State Senator. I will bring dignity, independence, and our shared values to Harrisburg because I believe deeply that this is what our families deserve.