|Address||162 Fruit Mountain Rd |
Easley, South Carolina , United States
|| July 06, 1982
Jul 03, 2015 02:11pm
|Info||Why Am I Running and Why Now? |
My name is Neal Collins. I am running for office for two primary reasons: (1) I believe in community involvement and (2) I vowed that I would return home and help out the community.
I understood from an early age that it was honorable to sacrifice for the community. The very reason I am named Neal is because my Uncle Neal was killed in the line of duty, serving as a police officer in Georgia. One of his plaques hangs in my room and serves as a daily reminder of the power of one man's services and sacrifice. On the plaque, the Council of Columbus "gives tribute for his devotion to his duties and for his courage in serving his community." Uncle Neal’s sense of service and community lives on and it is my intention to carry that tradition forward.
On my daily bus ride to school, I spent countless hours staring out of the bus window – from rural ranch houses to apartment complexes to mobile home parks to higher end subdivisions to government-subsidized housing. The range in each neighborhood’s quality of life astounded me. Even as a student, I knew that the difference in these life situations would vastly affect economic and education opportunities for each. At some point, these hours reached a tipping point and became a pledge: to not only better my own life, but to return home and help to expand the kinds of economic and educational opportunities for all those kids and their families on the bus.
Getting To Know Me
I was born in Easley, S.C. My parents worked in textiles, which had us moving frequently during my formative years. I attended at least seven different elementary and middle schools in three different states, finally settling back where we began, Easley. Moving around a lot helped me to adapt well in quickly changing times and introduced me to different regional cultures, a wide range of people and educational systems. My parents encouraged me to become involved. Whether it has been with school, church, athletics, Scouts, Push America, Big Brother/Big Sister or other volunteer opportunities, I continue to believe service is worthwhile.
In high school, I lettered in wrestling and baseball, served as the student body president, and earned an Eagle ranking in Boy Scouts of America. My community project was planting trees, general landscaping, building birdhouses, and installing a commercial-sized mailbox for Riverside Nursing Home in Piedmont, S.C. I received partial scholarships and attended Furman University. At Furman, I became involved in student government, College Republicans, my fraternity and its philanthropy Push America, and double majored in Political Science and French. After graduating, I attended University of South Carolina School of Law. In school, I clerked for a general practice firm in Lexington, S.C. After law school, I passed both the North and South Carolina bars and worked for a defense firm in Charlotte, N.C. I have been in the private practice sector for over two years. I currently work for Willson, Jones, Carter & Baxley, a workers' compensation defense firm, in Greenville, SC.
In my free time, I like to skydive, hike, camp, play softball, read, officiate high school wrestling, and spend time with friends, family and my dog Topher.
There’s a Native American saying that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is NOW. I’m running now because (1) I am frustrated with the fiscal irresponsibility of our leaders and (2) simply put, I believe in the urgency of now.
Under Republican leadership, our federal deficit increased from $5 trillion to $11 trillion. While in control, we Republicans cut taxes, created Medicare Part D, expanded the Department of Education with No Child Left Behind and fought two wars. I believe the Republicans of tomorrow must stay closer to our core principles of being fiscally responsible and keeping government limited to essential structures that promote and uphold a healthy and thriving society. Politics is about tough choices. Public servants should have political courage. We have a budget. We should elect leaders who will abide by it.
With the first six months of full Democratic control, it is more of the same. The 2010 budget is $3.5 trillion. It is projected that half will be borrowed or printed money! Even with a promise to cut the annual deficit in half, the national deficit will be approaching $16 trillion by the end of Obama’s first term. This is unsustainable.
I pledge to be a candidate with political courage to confront both the issues of today and tomorrow with a set of unwavering principles and with an independent mind.