Though she calls South Carolina home, Samantha Bonsack – soldier, world traveler, and writer – will be the first to tell you she is a Multi-State American Girl. She recently added Iowa to her repertoire of states due to her new job as Congressional Staff Assistant to Rep. Rod Blum.
Samantha, though forging ahead in her political career, came relatively recently to the working world of politics. After a life of military service, and several other jobs that took her across the country and around the world, Samantha sought a new direction in life.
“I began to question the direction of my life,” Samantha said. “I had one job and I was lucky if I got 18 hours! I was pretty bad off at 31 with a degree and a 10 year military background but no open doors.”
Samantha said the Leadership Institute (LI) helped her open a door where at first it seemed there were only walls.
“I had done an over the phone resume consultation with the Leadership Institute that helped me a lot with condensing my four page federal resume down to two,” said Samantha. “They strongly urged that I join a campaign to help me gain political experience, which I had never thought of doing.”
In addition to the phone consultation with LI’s Conservative Jobs, Samantha also attended LI’s Capitol Hill Jobs seminar. Samantha credits the training she received in that seminar with helping her land her start in her political career.
“If I had not gone to that seminar I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I am so thankful for LI and the seminars they offer,” Samantha said. “At the very least, you can do a lot of networking at those events.”
After Samantha’s phone consultation with LI, Samantha said she was drawn to Representative Rod Blum’s campaign because of their shared political values. Looking back, Samantha says she chose well.
“Through personal connections with people I had met through meetings and events I learned about Congressman Blum and loved what he stood for and his principles and wanted to help him win because I felt that Congress needed more people like Rod to get things right in our country,” Samantha said. “I flew out to Iowa and canvassed the first district all day sometimes into the night and all of the team’s hard work paid off because we won a primarily democratic district. One of the best and fun experiences I have had. I would definitely do it again.”
Before Samantha’s foray into politics she served in the munitions field of the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and was the first female in her family to join the military. Samantha’s military career took her across the world. She was stationed in California, South Korea, England, and Texas, and deployed twice to Afghanistan.
Samantha thrived in the military. Noble as her military career was, though, Samantha realized she wasn’t fulfilling her life’s passion.
“I separated from active duty for two reasons,” Samantha said. “One, I wanted to go to school full time and pursue my dream job. Two, I couldn’t be politically active being active duty military.”
After ending her active military career, Samantha enrolled in McMurry University in Abilene, TX where she earned a BA in political science. Samantha then took a DOD contracting job in Qatar for 14 months starting in 2013.
Politics, however, was a passion that stayed with Samantha throughout her life – a fact borne out not only by her current political career, but also by her career as a writer for a small town newspaper in Texas. Starting in 2011, Samantha wrote political opinion articles for the paper and continued through 2015.
“Writing my political opinion (fact) articles is a passion on mine,” Samantha said. “I love writing and I love politics.”
“I kind of always laugh when asked, ‘why politics’ and I explain to people that I am a ‘Rush baby,’ that’s why,” Samantha said. “My parents have talked politics since I was a little girl and I remember driving around San Diego, California with my mom and her ALWAYS listening to Rush Limbaugh.”
Even though Samantha no longer actively serves in the military, she said she hopes to continue to serve her fellow service members through her political career.
“I’m hoping that I can make a positive impact on the constituents in the first district and that they know they can fully rely on Congressman Blum to put their needs and concerns first,” Samantha said. “I also hope that I can contribute to legislation for veterans. I love my veterans, being one myself, and I would love to make suggestions to not only help veterans in Iowa, but all over the US. Someone needs to look out for them and I want to be that person.”
In addition to serving the people of Iowa and helping veterans across the nation, Samantha has big plans for the future.
“I plan to pursue my Master’s degree in Foreign Relations and eventually find a PhD program to complete my long time goal of gaining the highest level of education that anyone in my family has achieved.”
The Leadership Institute is committed to training and equipping leaders like Samantha.
Please congratulate Samantha Bonsack on being nominated for LI’s Conservative Leader-In-Training Award.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org.
The Leadership Institute offers over 44 types of training programs, working with more than 1,576 active conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, more than 161,460 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.