This Washington, D.C., native knew he was destined to climb the ladder of success at an early age. At 15, he was painting barns “up 60 feet high,” he says. “That’s not something everybody would do.” Especially when you factor in those pests. “I was helping a friend paint his barn, and there was another fellow with me up on the scaffolding, and he hit a bees nest,” he says. “He was jumping around, and I thought I was going to fall to my death.”
By then, he already knew he would reach new heights in another field. “When I was 12 years old, I decided I wanted to become (a politician),” he says.
Not that there weren’t hurdles along the way. Especially in high school. On the track and field team. “I was terrible,” the 1989 graduate says. “They needed a hurdler and I did it and I hated it. I tripped over them all the time.” His footwork on the football team wasn’t much better. “In my junior year I broke my ankle, worked my butt off all summer, and in the second game of the (senior season), some guy speared me and broke my jaw.”
His jaw gets a workout these days when he’s not on the job, singing in a two-man Christian country band. “That brings me my most joy,” he says.
While the duet was in Nashville last week, his true heart remains in the Valley: The same day he decided he wanted to be a politician was the same day he made another decision that he ultimately realized, while walking around his grandparents’ farm: “It has one of the best views in the county,” he says. “It overlooks the Susquehanna River and the entire Susquehanna Valley. I realized I wanted to build my house there.”
No word on the view from the rooftop.
Guess Who! in the Discussion Box at the top!