I was born in Anderson, SC to Rev. Jerry and Janet Hill and have lived my entire life in the Upstate. I have many memories of Donalds, SC where Dad was a pastor and where I grew up with my five siblings. A decade ago, our entire family moved to Townville, SC—not far from where my great-grandfather Hudgens used to live.
My parents chose home education from the very beginning. I am grateful for this upbringing, and next to God, my parents are responsible for who I am today. I believe that homeschooling is one of the best ways to develop creativity, entrepreneurism, thoughtfulness, and character in young people.
As for college, I opted to teach myself how to build, network, and program computers and websites. I figured the resume and money I would earn over four years would be better than a paper diploma and thousands of dollars of student debt.
Politics wasn't really an interest of mine until around 2008. I heard David Barton speak on how citizens should, but often do not, impact their state and local government. So I got involved as a grassroots volunteer coordinator for various campaigns, and from 2009-2012 ran the Anderson TEA Party. I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work in campaigns and political activism.
Mostly, I learned that most politicians only care about getting re-elected. Usually, this means doing as little as possible, and never taking any risks. I had things "explained" to me over and over, and got so sick of "Republican" politicians who'd forgotten how to think like a conservative.
In 2013, I decided that everything that I'd done up to that point hadn't really worked, and it was time to try something new. So I ran for office, challenging then-incumbent Rep. Don Bowen in the 2014 Republican Primary (I won with 57% of the vote). Two years later, I'm running for re-election. But this time, I'm no longer a bachelor!
A few months before filing for office the first time, I met Amanda Barber, a writer from Michigan. Somehow I convinced her to marry me, rescued her from the great white Michigan tundra, brought her to the south, and introduced her to grits. Married life is great, and we are tickled to death about the whole arrangement!