Families come in all sizes and configurations with special challenges and considerations. Mine started out slowly. My wife and I struggled for years with infertility but with faith and perseverance we were eventually blessed with two daughters; Bea and Anne. Then in the rush of an early morning, Sally died; the victim of a traffic accident.
Suddenly, I was a single parent with a daughter one month away from entering kindergarten and another not yet ready for preschool. Later, I met Jennie Muir, herself a single parent, and together with her two sons, Aaron and Spencer, we put together the strong family we have today.
Every day that I spent raising my children, I witnessed how hard it can be to parent in today's world. Daily, children are assaulted with messages from a culture which has lost track of old fashioned American values.
Luckily for my daughters, we lived in Wyoming a state which puts great value on families and children, where we have access to open space, mountains, rivers, fairs and rodeos, parents and grandparents who hold community service and kids above all else. For my children this made all the difference. As my children grew, I wanted to give back, as a 4H leader, soccer coach, and mentor, I have enjoyed watching kids thrive and reach new heights. It is their future that I worry about most.
I understand the struggle parents go through to raise their kids, and I will uphold the values that keep families strong, allowing them to raise children to be happy, productive committed citizens and leaders. Values are best taught by loving parents, institutions of faith, and mentors, not pamphlets, regulations, or decrees. Family decisions should be made around the kitchen table, not conference tables in Washington.
Our family includes three sets of grandparents, all of whom are critically important to our children. We believe all of the members of our family deserve to feel safe, loved, and secure in the notion that their health care is accessible, responsible, and reasonable. As a nation, and as people, we have an obligation to make sure our families stay strong, secure, and safe.
I will fight to keep government out of people's affairs and to foster a climate that allows families of all shapes and sizes to thrive. I will fight to make government responsive to peoples needs not the other way around.