James William Peppe
(PEP-ee, as in energetic)
James Peppe – his closest friends just call him Pep – is a regular American, NOT a professional politician or wealthy celebrity or corporate mogul. He is a small business owner, professional investment adviser and father to four wonderful children.
Peppe is the ninth of 12 children to parents, Victor and Marlene Peppe. He was born and raised in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where he enjoyed a carefree childhood, despite (or perhaps because of) his family’s very modest means. A second-generation American, Peppe’s paternal grandparents emigrated from Italy to New York City in the early twentieth century while his mother’s family – predominantly of southern Minnesota’s farming community – comes from largely Scandinavian, German and Irish roots. In all, Peppe’s upbringing is reflective of our nation’s rich, melting-pot history, amounting to yet another uplifting American success story.
Growing up, Peppe was a leader among his peers, and his family’s strong commitment to education drove him to excel in public school classrooms, where he won academic honors and achieved acceptance to Yale University. Outside the classroom Peppe was a stellar athlete in multiple sports, eventually starring on the varsity football and track squads at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and playing college football at Yale under Hall of Fame coach Carm Cozza. Peppe’s athletic accomplishments were all the more remarkable considering he suffered a traumatic injury as a young child that left him virtually blind in one eye. This was merely the beginning of a lifelong pattern of overcoming adversity.
Upon graduating from Yale, Peppe served a Capitol Hill internship in the office of Minnesota Representative Bill Frenzel. There he wrote floor speeches, drafted constituent letters, and supported the Congressman’s work on the National Economic Commission. Frenzel quickly became an important role model and mentor as Peppe discovered a passion for public service.
From there, Peppe would go on to serve in various capacities for U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz, Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson and two Minnesota Senate Minority Leaders.
In 1992 Peppe was recruited to run for the Minnesota Senate and lost by one percent to an entrenched, long-time incumbent who had won with margins of 20% or more in all his previous races. That taste of conventional politics was both eye-opening and disillusioning to Peppe and, soon thereafter, he decided against a career in politics.
Following his first entrepreneurial experience operating an independent media and public relations consulting firm, Peppe accepted a position at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), where he worked as an advocate for manufacturing companies and the millions of employees and families that depend upon their success. This role, which would last for 11 years and bring him to his new home in Montgomery, Texas, offered Peppe the opportunity to satisfy his passion for meaningful service while providing for the growing needs of his young family.
In recent years Peppe has returned to the private sector as a small businessman and professional investment adviser, helping Americans plan for retirement.
Renewed Call to Service
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 reawakened Peppe’s passion for service with mixed emotions. On the one hand, he was excited to witness the upending of the political establishment that for so long had promised so much to so many and delivered so little. On the other hand, he was stunned and disappointed to see America invest its hopes in a self-promoting individual of such poor character.
In announcing his intention to seek the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination, Peppe expressed his firm belief that America needs a new kind of leadership, one that combines character with common-sense and the critical ability to relate to regular Americans; a true outsider who owes nothing to the establishment of fame, fortune and political power; in short, a leader who is one of us.
Today James Peppe calls Texas home, though his extensive family and friends network spans the United States north to south and east to west. In addition to spending time with his fiancé, Amanda Ward, and their large, combined family, Peppe serves on the Board of Directors of Live Loud Charities Foundation, a Houston based organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for the early detection of cancer.
James Peppe is truly one of us, and he stands ready to help lead our revolution to reclaim America from the establishment of rich and powerful elites who have continually failed to keep their promises.
"It is not the critic who counts," said President Teddy Roosevelt. “not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while doing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither no victory nor defeat.”
James Peppe is our Man in the Arena. One of Us for All of Us.