|In His Own Words...|
I am asking the voters of the 10th Illinois Senate District to select me as their senator because I possess the professional background, life experience, and compassion that are required to successfully represent our community. I'll share with you the course my life has taken thus far and how I've been able to acquire and develop those qualities.
I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment on the west side of Chicago. My father, who was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States with his family, was a laborer for People’s Gas for 37 years. My mom, a first-generation immigrant, worked tirelessly as the mother of five sons. My parents sacrificed everything for their children, so that we might have the benefit of quality education. To do my part, I started working at age 13 as a janitorial assistant at St. Patrick High School, and my earnings went to my parents to help pay for my education and support our family. I haven’t stopped working since.
I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in business administration. I began my career as a certified public accountant, working in the small business division for Arthur Andersen & Co. In that role, I specialized in audit and tax matters for both individuals and corporations. While working at Arthur Andersen, I attended law school at night and obtained my law degree from Loyola University in 1988. I began my legal career as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney. There, I represented the People of the State of Illinois and prosecuted hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases. I also argued numerous cases in the Appellate Court of Illinois. In 1995, I opened my own law practice. For the past 14 years, I have represented people in a wide variety of cases including civil, criminal, probate, adoption, and real estate.
My diverse professional background has allowed me to develop an innate ability to listen to and speak effectively on behalf of both individuals and groups. I believe these skills are essential to an elected official’s effectiveness at negotiating successfully on behalf of his or her constituents.
Community involvement has always been a touchstone in my life. I have served as president of the Edison Park Community Council; member of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce; director of the St. Angela Education Foundation; and have also coached numerous youth athletic teams in my community. While president of the St. Juliana School Board, I directed its finance committee in preparing school budgets.
My wife, Margaret, and I have been married for 25 years and have four children, ages 12 to 18. It is only with her support that I was able to work full-time while attending law school. We are both very actively involved in our children’s activities and do our best to model the lessons we teach them regarding honesty, integrity and good character. I believe that my legal and accounting background, community involvement and life experience set me apart from my opponent.
My goal and promise to the People of the 10th District are that I will use my background and experience to promote and represent the interests and concerns of the people within the 10th District.