Hometown: Jermyn, Pennsylvania
Birthday: February 8
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How would you describe your political beliefs?
I mostly vote Democratic but I have voted Republican and for third-party candidates. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012. When forming an opinion on an issue I try to think of how it will impact the average working person since that is what most of us are.
I have also donated my time and money to causes with personal resonance to me, including but not limited to: The American Society for Suicide Prevention, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Mental Health America, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and several environmental and conservation charities.
How religious would you consider yourself?
I was raised Catholic, but I haven't attended church regularly since I was in high school. I consider myself non-religious. However, I do respect the importance that church and church attendance has on many people's lives.
It's undeniable that Gov. Nikki Haley is as divisive a figure that South Carolina has seen. But, I think the governor is still relatively unknown and she's been broadsided more than a few times by the media. Whether or not she brought that on herself, that's another issue.
What's also undeniable is that Gov. Haley is a great saleswoman for the state of South Carolina and has brought much-needed jobs to the state.
Where do you stand on the issues facing South Carolina? It's hard to speak generally about the whole state because different parts of it have different needs. But, I would say a couple of things that could apply to much of the state. First, the performance of the public school system is behind the rest of the country, and our country is behind other industrialized nations, so it's a serious deficiency. Opinions about the causes of that deficiency vary. I don't think there's any one reason for the situation other than it's never been made a priority.
The other major issue is, of course, the economy. I do think the economic woes are related to the shortfalls in education. Good jobs come to areas where there are skilled workers. Skilled workers in 1982 are very different from skilled workers in 2012, and there seems to be a consensus that a better job needs to be done at preparing workers for the demands of the global, knowledge-based economy.