In 1999, I decided to run for Congress in CD-1 as a Democrat in the 2000 election cycle. I spent over a year running a nearly full-time campaign. I sold my company’s office building on Coal and moved into commercial space on Bryn Mawr where I housed both Monitech and my congressional campaign.
From 2000-2002 my wife, Joan and I helped co-found a charter school: the Public Academy For Performing Arts in Albuquerque – it is still going strong 16 years later. I have never worked so hard on a volunteer activity; my start-up skills served the team well and we launched the first school of its kind in New Mexico. I also served for several years on the Albuquerque EMS advisory committee that Dr. Barbara McAneny (now AMA President) chaired. As a former EMT and someone who had worked with every emergency department in Sandoval and Bernalillo County, I helped improve our emergency services.
In 2001, I moved my medical IT company to Rio Rancho, on Barbara Loop.
In 2003 and 2004, I ran for the Public Regulation Commission, District 3. I lost in the Democratic primary in a four-way race, coming in second to now Congressman Ben Ray Lujan Jr. I very much enjoyed campaigning in Northern New Mexico and throughout Sandoval County meeting the diverse residents of our state and connecting with them on their home turf.
In 2008, I sold Monitech after 25 years of operation. After that I worked on two start-ups in 2009, one in cyber-security and one in tele-health. It was tough getting start-ups funded during the recession and I realized I was tired of the private sector. My heart was really in public service. In early 2009, I applied to become a Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State and started work on January 4, 2010.