When I was assigned the task of “profiling my conservative hero,” a single name came to mind: Senator Marco Rubio. I have more to thank Senator Rubio for than he will ever know, without him I would have never discovered my calling in life. Volunteering on his presidential campaign as a naive, inexperienced 16 year old was my first experience in the political world. I made call after call for Senator Rubio, attended rally after rally all around South Carolina, and intently watched every debate. A short year later, I was applying to college as a political science major. I hope to one day get to say thank you to Senator Rubio for the profound impact he has had on my life.
Senator Rubio was born in Miami, Florida on May 28, 1971 as the son of two Cuban immigrants fleeing the oppressive Castro regime. He and his family were members of the Catholic Church and lived relatively modest as his mother made a living as a housekeeper and his father a bartender. Marco Rubio graduated from South Miami Senior High in 1989.
After graduation, he stumbled a bit. He attended a community college in Missouri on a football scholarship for one year before the college closed. He then decided he wanted to attend the University of Florida, but did not have the grades. He ultimately attended Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville before raising his GPA and transferring to and graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science. He then proceeded to attend law school at the University of Miami where he graduated in 1996.
He practiced law before becoming a United States Senator, mostly as a real estate attorney. He first won a bid for elected office at age 26 when he was chosen to become a City Commissioner for West Miami. A short two years later, Rubio won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives. Incredibly, he was promoted to a majority whip within one year of being elected, an uncommon accomplishment.
In 2002, Rubio became Majority Leader for the Florida House GOP and became Speaker of the House at 34 years of age and the first Cuban-American Speaker in the history of the Sunshine State. In 2009, Rubio decided to run for the vacant Senate seat left open by retiring incumbent Mel Martinez. Rubio beat out the independent but former Republican Governor Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek to become the junior Senator from Florida.
In April 2015, Senator Rubio announced his decision to run for president and quickly gained the support of many prominent Republicans such as Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Trey Gowdy, and Nikki Haley. In a crowded field in which nobody could ultimately top Donald J. Trump, Rubio finished 3rd behind now-President Trump and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. After dropping out of the presidential race, Rubio decided to enter the race for Senate in 2016 where he won the primary and defeated Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy. Rubio, now in his second term, sits several committees: Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Aging, and Small Business.
Senator Rubio has had a vast impact on the nation, the state of Florida, and on me personally. His political career spanning two decades has been comprised of fighting for the conservative principles so many of us hold dear. In 2015, he inspired millions and awakened the “Children of the Reagan Revolution.” His humble beginnings and refusal to give up should give hope to people of all backgrounds.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.