I won a competitive primary election — which sent me to the [emergency room] for heat exhaustion — knocked on 18,000 doors, spent every dime of the $60,000 I raised, made more new friends than ever before and won the general election two days before my daughter was born. 2012 was memorable.
I was born in Iowa. My mom was a social worker and my dad had an education degree but they decided to teach my siblings and me at home. However, Iowa was one of the last three states in the country where homeschooling was illegal. You could literally be taken away from your parents by the government for truancy. That experience as a child really burned into me how an intrusive government could completely change your life. My parents dragged me to the Capitol at 10 and I started working on my first campaign at 12. I still maintain my healthy fear of a big and burdensome government.