President Donald J. Trump promised to “Drain the Swamp," but many conservatives throughout the nation feel frustrated by the GOP establishment, believing that they are standing athwart the president’s America First agenda.
Andrew Lewis, age 30, of Dauphin County, PA is one of those individuals. But rather than simply complain that not enough Conservative legislation is being passed in Congress, the devoted father of three, small business owner, and Army combat veteran is taking his fight to D.C. himself; Lewis is running for Pennsylvania’s 11th district congressional seat.
Lewis told Townhall that “national security, transportation and infrastructure, and healthcare reform,” are his top issues. But in a broader sense, Lewis added, "it's standing up as an advocate every day for pro-limited government, pro-liberty policies that are 'America first.' President Trump is carrying out the promises he campaigned on," but "obstruction in Congress" is preventing truly beneficial policy.
Lewis grew up as one of six boys in Pennsylvania. His grandfather was an Italian immigrant who taught his family the value of patriotism and public service. Those lessons led Lewis to join the Army at age 18. He served for nearly a decade on active duty and saw combat in Iraq. At age 23, Lewis was appointed Special Agent in Charge of his counterintelligence team in Korea. At age 25, Lewis was nominated by the Department of Defense for the White House Communications Agency. Lewis served as Chief of Information Security in this capacity.
While Lewis was serving, one of his brothers followed in their dad’s footsteps and started his own drywall business. Lewis, juggling multiple roles, earned his MBA from Temple University and joined his brother’s business - Tradesman Building Group. Under Andrew's leadership, the successful small family business was recently named one of Pennsylvania's fastest growing firms by Central Penn Business Journal.
To recap so far, Lewis has served his nation honorably, ran his own small business, and also has had three kids with his wife, whom he married after meeting through his church. And all of this before the age of 30. Plus, he was also named to Central Pennsylvania's Emerging Leaders '40 Under 40' list.
But, Lewis said he understood that unless he stepped in and decided to serve his country by pushing forth conservative legislation in Congress, many of the freedoms and liberties he grew up enjoying would be stripped away.
Lewis has always had love for his country, but has never truly been involved in politics. He considers himself an every day, normal citizen who simply wants a better government, saying, “I really am an outsider. I did not grow up in the political establishment. My adult years were formulated in combat and the military as well as running a business.”
His time in the military gave him first hand insight to the international threats Americans face everyday. But, his growing business highlighted for him how important a functioning DC with pro-growth legislation is for the economy. Particularly for healthcare reform.
Lewis says Obamacare should be repealed and replaced completely. His main focus in that area is on healthcare reform as opposed to health insurance. He has seen how medical expenses and lack of proper health care policy affects his employees ability to provide for their families.
Lewis has been frustrated by the sluggishness Washington. Essentially, he believes Republicans are blowing a golden opportunity to craft lasting impact with a "bold conservative agenda."
For Lewis, his campaign is fueled after a “culmination of seeing ineffectiveness, seeing a system of people who have forgotten who they work for.”
“(The American people) are their employer, the elite political class. They forget that they were work for us,” added Lewis.
But Lewis is in a crowded political field on both sides of the aisle. Republican Rep. Lou Barletta is opting to run for Senate. Three GOP challengers in addition to Lewis are competing for his now open seat.
State Rep. Stephen Bloom, former state Revenue Secretary Dan Mueser, and former President Trump delegate Andrew Shecktor all have impressive resumes of their own.
But this does not deter Lewis, who feels confident in his campaign.
“The campaign is going well. We assembled a great team, we’re ready to work hard. Very confident, we have strong grassroots support and are excited to carry this message and sign up as many voters as we can,” Lewis said.
Pennsylvania's 11th District GOP primary is May 15th, 2018. The general election is November 6 of next year.