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About Thom Experience
Most politicians think they work for the DC insiders who fund their campaigns, and forget they represent you. Well, it’s safe to say that I’m a little different. I’m not a career politician. I know that my job is fighting for your job. Here’s why:
I grew up living in a big family with five brothers and sisters. I had two strong parents who would relocate to wherever they could to find work and to provide for our family. From a rental house in Louisiana, to trailer parks in Florida and Tennessee, we moved seven times before I was sixteen, living paycheck to paycheck.
But I learned a lot during my childhood. I watched my parents work for everything they earned and it instilled in me a work ethic that would inspire me for the rest of my life. It taught me to never give up, no matter how tough things seemed.
At age 11, I became a newspaper delivery boy and I ran my route 7 days a week. On Sunday mornings, my dad would get up at 5 AM to help me fold the Sunday edition, pack my bike, and send me on my way. Being a paperboy was my first real experience with a job. I loved the responsibility and the freedom that came with it, and I never stopped working again.
When I graduated from high school I couldn’t afford college so I volunteered for the Air Force. However, a month before I was supposed to ship off to basic training, I got in a car accident and my dream of serving our country in the armed services was dashed.
Unsure of what to do next, I did what my parents had always taught me to do: Work. I got a job as a warehouse clerk and worked my way through night school. I ended up going to five different institutions to finish my college degree over 18 years, all the while raising a family with the love of my life, my wife Susan. Because of the opportunities provided to me by our great country, I worked my way up in high tech to become a partner at IBM. And now I have the honor and privilege of being your voice in the Senate where I’m working to provide you with the chance to achieve your American Dream.
As I look back at my upbringing, I realize it was a struggle. Every day was a battle but to be honest, I didn’t really know it. It’s just what we had to do. I’m proud of my family who beat the odds, and I’m glad I went through it because many folks across North Carolina are in the fight of their lives right now, and they want a leader who understands their challenges—someone who has been there.
For those of you who may have lost your job, for those of you whose grocery bags aren’t quite as full these days, and for those of you who are sitting at the kitchen table each night after you put your kids to bed trying to figure out how you’ll make it – You are what drives me to serve and I will never stop fighting for you.
I grew up with strong parents and humble people in humble places, and I take a little humility to the U.S. Senate, where it’s in short supply. This virus may have wrecked our economy, but we will build it back stronger than ever. And because of the experiences that shaped me, I’ll always remember who needs it the most.
Thom was born into a working-class family with his father and mother and five siblings. During his childhood, his family was frequently forced to relocate depending on where his parents could find work. After graduating from high school, Thom was unable to afford college, so he took a job as a warehouse records clerk earning minimum wage. He knows firsthand how difficult it is to raise a family while attending school at night, struggling to make ends meet.
Through hard work and dedication, Thom quickly moved up the corporate ladder, earning his degree at 36 and becoming a top-level executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Thom’s 29-year private sector career in technology and management consulting provided him with a deep understanding of policy-making and the management of complex organizations.
Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Thom’s involvement in public service began by serving as the PTA president of his daughter’s high school and as a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and was selected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. As Speaker, Thom played an instrumental role in enacting job-creating policies and reforming North Carolina’s tax and regulatory codes. Thom was elected as U.S. Senator in 2014 and he has focused on pragmatic solutions and delivering results for North Carolina.
Thom lives with his wife Susan in Huntersville, North Carolina, and they are the proud parents of two grown children and two granddaughters.