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My name is Jay Williams and I am running as a candidate to serve you in the United States Senate.
I grew up on a farm south of Gettysburg, South Dakota, where I learned to love the beauty and bounty of South Dakota. My parents instilled in me the importance of education, hard work and public service.
After graduating from Gettysburg High School in 1968, I earned a Navy scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin. There I met an amazing woman, Carol, who later became my wife. Carol and I moved to Yankton, South Dakota in 1987 where we have lived ever since, raising our family with the same values my parents instilled in me.
Before returning to South Dakota, I had the opportunity to serve my country in both the US Navy and in the Peace Corps. In addition I was able to work in the high tech industry.
As a Midshipman, I served on the USS Oriskany in the Vietnam War where I learned to work with discipline under pressure. After graduating from college I was commissioned as a Naval Officer, carrier qualified in a high performance jet plane, and earned my wings as a Naval Aviator. I served as a search and rescue helicopter pilot in Italy and Virginia Beach. My 10 years of military service allowed me to develop my leadership skills and formed my passion for public service.
After my time in the Navy, Carol and I volunteered for the Peace Corps and were assigned to Bogotá, Colombia. It was during this time that Carol and I gained perspective on America’s prosperity, and the importance of working together with community leaders at the local level to impact change.
After the Peace Corps I returned to college to earn a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. This training gave me the tools I needed to earn a living and to support and raise a family. After working in the high tech industry in Texas and California, Carol and I longed for the strong community and wonderful people that we knew were present in South Dakota.
In 1987, Carol and I moved our family to Yankton, South Dakota and started a small business called Excelltech Inc. It was the best move I have ever made and we have lived here ever since. During my years in Yankton I have been involved in the community in a variety of ways, from performing in local theater productions to serving on volunteer boards to most recently performing duties as an elected member of the Yankton School Board.
I believe that all South Dakotans deserve the opportunity to have an excellent education and the opportunity to achieve their dreams. Let’s work together to build a strong future for South Dakota.