Working Class Roots
Paul has lived in San Diego County for over 43 years but was raised in a small, farming town in the central Arizona desert. Paul’s Dad worked for a clothing manufacturer, before moving into sales for a freight carrier. Paul’s Mom worked as a homemaker. The oldest of 6, Paul was raised in a middle-class community, by working-class parents.
Health Care is Not a Game
When Paul turned 16, he moved to northern San Diego County. Shortly before the move, his Mom was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Within a year, she was confined to a wheelchair, and his aunt moved in to help. That meant nine people living in a little 1,300 square foot, 4-bedroom house, all of whom in their own way were coping with the emotional and financial challenges that accompany this horrific illness. Three years after being diagnosed, his Mom died from ALS.
Veteran in a Military Family:
After his junior year of high school, Paul joined the U. S. Navy. He served on a destroyer stationed in San Diego and completed a tour off the coast of Vietnam shortly after the war ended. After three proud years of service, Paul was honorably discharged and joined a long list of Veterans in his family, that includes four WW II Vets, one of whom was a Purple Heart recipient, a Korean war-era Vet, three Vietnam War Vets, a Naval Academy graduate who served in Iraq, and an Iraq war Veteran who recently retired as a Brigadier General, among others. Paul also has a nephew who will soon be commissioned as an Air Force officer, which will mean that some member of Paul’s family will have served in every branch of our nation’s military except the Coast Guard. Service to our country is a long-standing, family tradition.
Worked His Way through College:
Like many enlisted Veterans, Paul got out of the service without any training for civilian work. This led to a variety of restaurant jobs. After being denied a promotion to management due to the lack of a college degree, Paul enrolled at San Diego State University. He was 29. Unfortunately, his GI Bill benefits expired after his freshman year, so Paul had to work full time and take out student loans to pay the bills. Paul was the first one in his family to graduate from college, but despite working full-time, he graduated with over $20,000 in student loan debt. In hindsight, it was the best investment he ever made.
After graduating, Paul worked for seven years as a commercial real estate appraiser. For the past 20 years, he’s been an owner of a San Diego-based investment firm. During this time, Paul and his partner have installed extensive energy and water-saving measures throughout their investment holdings, all while creating thousands and thousands of jobs and advancement opportunities for the people who work with his firm.
Paul’s found a variety of ways to give back to the community that’s given him so much. He’s been a member of the Advisory Board of the San Diego State University Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate since shortly after its inception, as well as an active and long-standing supporter of the San Diego Police Officers’ Widows and Orphans Fund, the California Highway Patrol 11–99 Foundation, the MS Society and Fresh Start Surgical Gifts.
Donald Trump and Darrell Issa are hard at work pushing policies that would harm our middle class, our health care system and our environment, all while simultaneously attacking our immigrant population. And they’ve just gotten started. None of us can afford to sit on the sidelines any longer. It’s time to put working families first!
Democrat Paul Kerr is a Veteran and businessman. When his Mom died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, his family almost went bankrupt. He strongly supports "Medicare for All." Paul has worked minimum-wage jobs for over 14 years. He worked full-time through college, graduating with $20,000 in student loans. Paul will fight for working families, protect a women’s right to choose, and take on Trump, whose reckless actions are threatening our security.