SOURCE: The Post Journal

As the challenger to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Republican opponent Wendy Long says she’s a typical New Yorker and not a professional politician.

Long, who’s looking to unseat the Democratic senator, said she’s never held political office in Washington, D.C. - a place she says has become corrupt. Long was nominated in March by New York Republicans.

Born in Worcester, Mass., Long once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court. She was also a press secretary for Republican senators William Armstrong of Colorado and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire. Long practiced as a litigation partner in New York City before becoming general counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network.

Before her professional career, Long attended school at Dartmouth College, Northwestern University School of Law and Harvard Law School. Long lives in New York City with her husband Arthur, who also clerked for Justice Thomas.

Long said she’s been across the state, including Chautauqua County, and believes people in the area deserve better representation than they receive from “self-serving politicians like Chuck Schumer.”

P-J: What kind of experiences have you had in your life that make you the person you are today?

Long: I was raised in a hardworking rural family and was lucky to attend outstanding public schools. I had many jobs during my school years and have had some wonderful opportunities since then, including as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

He is a great American who really understands the principles of our country and why it is unique in the world, the principles it was founded on of the natural rights of every single human being to freedom, equality, and life, and property, and on a system of limited self-government as the best way to preserve those rights.

I became a partner in a New York law firm, but I left it to work on public policy issues that mean a great deal to me, like judicial nominees, and now helping the cause of Christians and other religious minorities who are being killed in a genocide by ISIS. I also have been a volunteer catechism teacher and spent the past three years as a homeschool teacher of my own and other children.

P-J: What are your hobbies and what do you like to do on your free time?

Long: I love animals. We have three dogs in our family, and training them and playing with them is one of the happy parts of my day. They are just amazing creatures. They sniff out bombs and drugs, guide the blind, help our veterans suffering from PTSD, and so many other things. Sometimes they show us humans a few things we need to know about loyalty and affection and just being happy for who you are and living in the moment, enjoying the simple things.

I enjoy cooking and making meals for my family. I also like to cut hair. I’m much better at cutting men’s hair, so I am the personal barber to my son and my husband, as well as occasional other “customers.” It started when I was in college and someone asked if I could cut hair. I don’t know why, but I said “sure,” and I taught myself. I’m actually pretty good now. I think our federal budget could use a haircut. I’d like to take my scissors to it. I also enjoy doing laundry and cleaning out barns. I sometimes joke that my first job was cleaning out horse stalls, and that’s a lot like the job I’m applying for now: cleaning up the mess that Chuck Schumer and the establishment have made in Washington.

P-J: What makes you the right candidate for the Senate?

Long: I am an outsider who thinks that Washington has become very corrupt, and between that corruption and the political correctness that the ruling class has imposed on us, I feel like we are losing our country and our culture and our security and opportunity. It makes me angry because it doesn’t have to be this way. We have all the tools in this country to make ourselves safe and prosperous and patriotic again. I am, in a sense, the right candidate for the Senate because I’m not looking to become a career politician. I believe in a citizen legislature where we take turns representing each other, not a lifetime ruling over each other. I have pledged to term limit myself and to introduce term limit legislation, as well as bills to ban lobbying for profit after one has served in Congress. I would end Congressional pensions and other incentives that make people want to stay in Washington for a lifetime.

P-J: What do you think individuals and families in New York state care about the most?

Long: I think most of all, they want their country back. I want to fight to get it back for them.

I think New Yorkers are worried about our economy and what it is doing to the lives of individuals and families who are struggling under burdens the government has created, with small business regulation, taxes, healthcare, student loans and other debt. I talk to parents and grandparents all the time who say their kids and grandkids live far away because of the lack of opportunities here.

The drug epidemic is something that we are all very worried about. My son found one of our young neighbors dead of a drug overdose. This has touched the lives of so many, and it has many causes. We have to tackle all of them: border security, law enforcement, breakdown of families and failing schools, and a job market that leaves too many, especially young people, with a sense of failure and despair when it’s not their fault.