Leadership Advisory Group
Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02)
Growing up and working on a farm in Illinois, Congressman Don Bacon learned first-hand how the value of hard work and commitment contributes to the success of a small business. He moved from the family farm to attend Northern Illinois University, from which he graduated with a Bachelors of Political Science in 1984, the same year he married Angie, the love of his life. They have three sons, one daughter, and five grandchildren. One year later, he began his military career by joining the U.S. Air Force and serving nearly 30 years, ultimately retiring as a Brigadier General.
During his career in the Air Force, Congressman Bacon specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence, reconnaissance, and public affairs. His career highlights include two tours as a Wing Commander, at Ramstein Airbase in Germany and Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska; group command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona; squadron command in Arizona, and expeditionary squadron command in Iraq. In total, Congressman Bacon served 16 assignments including four deployments across the globe, three of which were in the Middle East, and one assignment to Iraq in 2007 to 2008 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Congressman Bacon’s military decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, two Bronze Stars, two Legion of Merits, five Meritorious Service Medals, and the Aerial Achievement Medal. Additionally, he was selected as Europe’s top Air Force Wing Commander for his time at Ramstein Airbase, as well as recognized as a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Navigator-Electronic Warfare School, and Officer Intelligence School. Further, Congressman Bacon has earned two Masters Degrees, from the University of Phoenix in Arizona and the National War College in Washington D.C.
Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12)
Mike Bost is running for U.S. Congress because he wants a better, brighter and more secure future for our children and grandchildren. Mike has and always will be that passionate voice of the people of Southern Illinois. Mike Bost was born and raised in Murphysboro, Illinois. He and his wife, Tracy, have been married for 38 years. They have three children and eleven grandchildren. Mike grew up working for Bost Trucking, a small business owned by his father and uncle. Mike did everything from hauling coal to washing trucks on weekends. Mike eventually helped run the business as dispatcher, truck manager, accountant and driver. Mike learned the values of honesty and hard work from his parents and grandparents. He seeks to live those values every day.
Frustrated as a small business owner, Mike decided to run for the Illinois House because he was tired of government red tape and regulations that hindered economic growth. By taking his case directly to the people, Mike defeated an incumbent and began representing the most Democratically held district outside the Chicago area at the time.
Mike has been an outspoken critic of government’s wasteful spending and the growing role of government in our everyday lives. He’s been a strong advocate for Southern Illinois’ coal industry, educational institutions, agriculture, public sector workers and protecting gun rights. Yes, sometimes even passionately on the House floor.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Jeff Fortenberry began public service with an extensive background in economics, public policy and small business. A former publishing business executive and Lincoln City Council Member, Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in economics and two master’s degrees, one in public policy. Jeff and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln, where they raise five daughters.
Jeff’s priorities are economic security, national security, and family security. In Congress, Jeff serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee with the difficult responsibility for delivering effective government within reasonable budgets. Jeff chairs the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch. He has strong expertise in budgetary and agricultural policy, and has worked on several Farm Bills.
Jeff also leads a number of initiatives in foreign policy, including the nuclear security working group, which focuses on nuclear non-proliferation. Jeff has a keen interest in renewable energy, and a strong commitment to properly serving our military personnel and veterans.
Jeff’s work in Congress is rooted in the belief that the strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families and communities.
Rep. David McKinley (WV-01)
Born in Wheeling in 1947, David attended public schools and worked his way through college, graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation, he worked in the construction industry as a certified professional engineer.
David is the founder of McKinley and Associates — an architectural and engineering firm — with offices in Wheeling and Charleston, W.Va. and Washington, PA. Over the 44 years that David ran the business, he created hundreds of jobs.
As one of two professional engineers in Congress, he has a seat on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he has been active on issues related to the coal industry, environmental regulation, energy efficiency, and health care. He serves as the vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment.
David is married to the former Mary Gerkin from New Martinsville, West Virginia and they are the proud parents of four children and six grandchildren.
Rep. Carol Miller (WV-03)
Congresswoman Carol Miller represents West Virginia’s Third Congressional District. Miller serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Oversight and Reform Committee, and the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives. Miller’s focus in Congress is creating jobs, diversifying the economy, innovating and improving infrastructure, protecting America’s borders, and supporting West Virginia’s energy industries like coal, oil, and gas.
Prior to her election to Congress in 2018, Congresswoman Miller served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 2006 to 2017 where she rose to become the first female Majority Whip. In addition to her public service, Carol is active in her community and is a former member of the Women’s Heart Advisory Board, St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute, Marshall University Society of Yeager Scholars, West Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Lily’s Place, as well as many other organizations.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04)
A 3rd generation Yakima Valley farmer, businessman and conservative Republican, Dan Newhouse gets results for Central Washington.
Dan was elected four times to the Washington State House of Representatives and served from 2003 to 2009. In the Legislature he was known as a pro-jobs conservative problem solver. Recognized by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Association of Washington Business for his commitment to pro-growth policies, Dan will bring the same set of values with him to Congress.
From 2009 to 2013 Dan served as Director of Washington State’s Department of Agriculture helping promote the state’s abundant agricultural resources and encouraging the next generation of family farms.
Dan has two adult children, Jensena, Devon and his wife Halley. The Newhouse family operates a 600-acre farm near Sunnyside where they grow hops, tree fruit, grapes and alfalfa.
Dan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University and is a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program.
Tom Reed (NY-23)
Tom Reed is one of 12 children raised by Tom Sr. and Betty Barr Reed – both long time residents of Corning, NY. His father was a decorated war veteran of both World War II and Korea. Tom attended All Saints Academy, Corning East High School, and is a 1989 graduate of Horseheads High School. He graduated from Alfred University in 1993 with a degree in Political Science. While at Alfred, Tom also was captain of the men’s swim team, and was an ‘All American’ athlete during his career. During his academic and athletic career, he fell in love with his now wife Jean. Jean was a student at Alfred as well, who graduated with BA in Biology and AAS in Medical Lab Technology.
Tom graduated from the Ohio Northern University College of Law in 1996 and began work in Rochester, N.Y. Tom’s wife Jean worked three jobs, including at Strong Memorial Hospital and waitressing, while he studied for the bar exam and they started their family. In 1999, they returned to his hometown of Corning, where he and Jean live with their children, Autumn and Will.
Tom was elected to serve New York’s 29th district in 2010, and took office in the 111th Congress, with his first full year term beginning on January 5, 2011. Since taking office, Tom has become one of the most accessible Members of Congress by conducting over 250 town halls across all 11 counties in a district the size of New Jersey.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, and Co-chair of the Manufacturing Caucus, Tom is committed to fighting for jobs and the future for the families in the 23rd Congressional District.
Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06)
Fred Upton is known as a sincere, hardworking leader who listens to all perspectives, supports our Midwestern values, and achieves results for Southwest Michigan. Fred's focus remains on passing important legislation to encourage job creation, protect taxpayers, help our community and enhance the quality of life for everyone in Southwest Michigan and throughout our country.
Prior to his election to Congress, Fred worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget. While at OMB, Fred developed a keen understanding of fiscal issues and the critical importance of cutting deficit spending and reducing the debt to protect the nation's fiscal integrity. Fred is fighting hard to put our nation's fiscal house back in order through spending cuts and reforms like the Balanced Budget Amendment and the line-item veto.
The Dowagiac Daily News calls Fred a "breath of fresh air in polarized Washington" who "keeps company at the highest levels of the federal government, but he never forgets where he comes from." Fred's hometown paper, The Herald Palladium, calls Fred an "engaged, positive representative" who has "effectively pulled the levers of government that have allowed key infrastructure projects to move forward." Additionally, in 2016, independent outlet Newsmax named Fred one of the "Top 25 Hardest Working Members of Congress".
In 2010, Fred was selected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues relating to energy, the environment, healthcare, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, trade, and oversight and investigations. He currently serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy. As Chairman, Fred was widely respected for his bipartisan track record of successful initiatives. During his tenure, he ushered more than 200 pieces of legislation into law.
Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02)
My wife, Mylene, and I are lifelong Oregonians whose ancestors were some of the first to come west and settle in the Oregon Country in the 1840s. Unlike our son, who graduated in 2012 from Wake Forest University, we’re both graduates of the University of Oregon. I have a degree in journalism, and she has a degree in business. Together we’ve been small business owners in the Columbia Gorge since 1986, where I grew up and we’ve made our home.
That small business experience and our involvement in various community organizations over the years—from Rotary and Soroptimist clubs to the local hospital and a community bank board—has proven very valuable as I try to bring common sense to government at all levels. When you sign the front of a payroll check and risk everything you have to grow a small business, you understand what it takes to create jobs. I’ve applied this experience to my work back in Congress.
As an Eagle Scout, I’ve applied the principle of “leaving your campsite better than you found it” to my work in public service. It’s why I’ve worked hard to protect our farm and ranch economy, pass legislation to improve management of our forests, and create new high tech jobs by expanding broadband to rural areas.
It’s also why I’ve long supported limiting the scope and cost of the federal government. It’s wrong to continue racking up trillion dollar annual deficits and handing off the bill to the next generation. We need a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect taxpayers of every generation from irresponsible politicians back in Washington, D.C.