Meet the Candidate
Thank you for visiting! I am Joe Preston. I am a 38 year old husband and father. I live on Isle of Palms with my wonderful wife of 15 years, Katie, and our two sons. Both of my boys are currently 10 rambunctious years old. My wife and I adopted our boys after struggling through 5 years of failed infertility treatments. The boys have been in our care since 2 days and 6 days old respectively, and every day I am grateful for them.
Prior to becoming adoptive parents, my wife and I served as foster parents for children with complex medical needs. I have a high school education with some college. After high school I worked odd jobs, such as retail, door to door sales ,and as a manager of a small business. I found myself working much of my adulthood with adults with disabilities and mental processing delays. I helped them manage a household and in the vocational arena. At age 19, I filled out an application for my local volunteer fire department. I was voted in and spent the next 13 years juggling the demands of my job, my volunteer work, schooling for the fire service, and my family. While in the fire service, I rose through the ranks becoming Lieutenant in 2001, and finally Captain in 2008, which put me in command of a group of 25 firefighters and officers. I also had the responsibility to oversee and direct resources at various types of emergencies, and I chaired the fire department by-laws committee. I was nominated Firefighter of the Year for 3 consecutive years and was also named a "top responder".
I left the fire service in 2011, and moved my family from CT to SC. When we arrived in SC in 2011, I was working 60 hour weeks managing a national brand. Unsatisfied, I decided to go back to school in 2013, for nursing, and became a full-time student/stay at home dad. My GPA after returning is a 3.7., and have been named to the Deans' List for several semesters. I have also enjoyed coaching my sons' soccer team here on the island for the Recreation Department.
Many will say the 2016 election was a huge motivating factor to get them more civically engaged. My story is not very different, but the motivation is different. When I stepped up to the voting booth to cast my ballot, almost every position at the local and state level ran unopposed. When I went back to research why this was the case, I found the only challenges these incumbents faced had been from primary challengers. I found this to be wholly unacceptable.
For too long have we been represented by career politicians, special interest groups, and big money lobbyists in our state capital. The current state of corruption is one that is untenable. There needs to be a culture shift in Columbia. We need to take a stand, and tell them we will no longer accept treatment like this from our elected officials. Our voices can and will be heard. This is not my campaign, it belongs to all of us. United, we can be the change we seek.
This will be a long and tough fight. The deck is fully stacked against us. The other side has held public office in one form or another for 25 years. The district boundaries have been drawn in such a way as the politicians are choosing who votes for them, rather than we the people choosing our representation. We, together can overcome this overwhelming opposition, and rise to defend the rights of all South Carolinians, including but not limited to ensuring there are an abundance of good jobs, protection for our environment, quality education for our children, rebuilding our roads and bridges, ensuring affordable access to healthcare for all citizens, fixing our broken criminal justice system, and kicking the corruption out of government, including an end to radical gerrymandering.
I am just an ordinary citizen, who wants to do extraordinary things for our state and our district. I have a similar upbringing as most, I don’t come from wealth, I attended public schools. I am just like many of you. The ability to send an ordinary member of the community to sit in the offices of our government is one of the many things that makes this country great and unique. Nowhere else in the world is anything like that even possible. We can make anything possible. We just need to do it together. I look forward to your support, and I look forward to being your voice.