Who I Am
Hello, I am David Karaffa. My wife, Ashley, and I live on the east coast of Florida. We are a blended family with seven children (YES, you read that right: 7 children). Our personal story of coming together would take a whole other website to tell...and it actually did, Ashley keeps a comedic and touching chronicle of our family adventures at www.becomingblended.com.
I was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In my life, I have waited tables, hung drywall, worked in a metal shop, owned a small business, and put myself through nursing school while working night-shift as a file clerk in our local hospital. Like most nurses, I have filled a wide variety of roles in the medical field. I was a bedside nurse working with surgical patients, cancer patients, those who had just suffered a stroke or heart attack, and even those fighting for their lives in an Intensive Care Unit. I have cared for young and old, rich and poor, happy and sad, fighting and dying. Through it all, I found myself deeply impacted by the lives, stories, and experiences of many of the patients I cared for. My career in healthcare eventually led to management positions. I have been the manager of a rehab unit in a skilled nursing home, director of nursing in an assisted living facility, and I currently work for a local insurance company managing a small group of nurses dedicated to making sure patients have access to what they need in the healthcare system when they discharge from a hospital.
In January of 2011, I ran for local elected office in my rural county. Originally, I never intended to be a candidate. Rather, I sought out my local representative because I noticed some issues in our town that needed attention and figured someone should go have a conversation with our local leader. It turned out that my representative was the local chairman of the board, and after hearing my request, he brushed me off and didn’t take me seriously. I was passionate about those issues I brought to him and wasn’t willing to let it go. I wanted to see something done, but I didn’t feel like I was being heard. I told him that evening that I was going to challenge him in the next election. He responded, “Good Luck.” The next week, I went down to the local election office and learned what it would take to follow through on this declaration.
I decided not to run as a party candidate. I didn’t want to be controlled or held by one group or party. I knew the party machine would be brought against me and it was. I knew it would be difficult but I made my decision and signed the paperwork to run as an independent. I was informed that hundreds of signatures on an official petition were needed to get my name on the ballot and it took me almost 7 months to get them. While working full time, being a husband and raising children, I hit the streets and knocked on doors, introducing myself and making my case.
At first, things were discouraging. We had no money and no advertising, but door by door, week by week, month by month, I started to gain momentum. I sat in on local government meetings held by our local officials and learned the mechanics of how local government really worked. For instance, do you know how much paperwork and regulation go into building a road? I do now. I met with the directors of departments and asked questions about their roles and how it all worked together. For a long time I got a lot of odd looks from the people in that government building, but over time they got used to me. At one point, they started printing out extras of the material that was handed to the press so I would have my own copy. Many times I went to public meetings where the press never even bothered to show up. I would bring what I had learned to the doorsteps of the folks I talked to every weekend when I arrived at their door, petition in hand.
In November of 2011, I finished a long election day of standing outside my local polling place. I have no idea how many hands I shook or people I spoke with. I had done what I set out to do. I ran and put forward a serious campaign to give my issues a voice. I then sat at a local restaurant with family, friends, and volunteers waiting. It's an exciting thing to see your name and your opponent's at the bottom of a television screen, watching as vote totals and returns come in. To be honest, as I watched, I never thought I’d win. I just wanted to look my kids in the eyes and tell them that no matter what, support what you believe in and remember that any person can make a difference. Then it happened. Much to my surprise, at 28 years old, I was elected as an independent to the Board of Supervisors and sent the sitting chairman home. We did it, we bested the machine, with only a couple thousand dollars, a small dedicated group of volunteers, and hard work.
My Background in Politics
While in office I served as vice-chairman of the board and chairman of our local public utilities, as well as numerous other boards and commissions including criminal justice, healthcare, and economic development. The experience was amazing and priceless. It was hard work and at many times thankless. But that is public service. No one calls their representative to give them a pat on the back or say that they are doing a good job. They call when there are problems and I was honored to hear them and do what I could to help. It restored my belief that our government works best when everyone participates and when elected officials remember they should humbly serve the people.
Why I am Here
I firmly believe that the Presidency has stepped outside the scope that was originally intended in our Constitution. The office has become a fixture for the political parties and their desire to enact an agenda on the American people. This manipulation of the office has caused deep divisions in our nation and caused many to feel unheard by their government. I have put forward my name with the strongest desire to return the office to the spirit of service and leadership for all, regardless of political party. The Presidency of the United States should be an office held as an independent, not polarized by a party agenda. The most successful administrations will dismiss the party ideology and act in service to all Americans, pursuing the common goals of peace & prosperity, freedom & liberty, hope & respect for all.
I want to thank you for visiting and subscribing with an email address. I hope you have enjoyed this short bio about me and are ready to be a part of this movement toward 2020.