About James Craig
The story of Southwestern Pennsylvania is the story of my life.
My name is James Craig and I was born in South Franklin Township, the son of a union Iron-worker and a waitress. My family came to Washington County in 1787 and we have remained here ever since.
My life was pretty good in the early years until my dad was injured on the job when a steel beam fell on the truck he was in, shattering his leg. With barely any income, we became homeless for 2 years and I shuffled around between the couches of relatives and friends.
During this time, my parents both began taking prescription opioids, my dad for his injury and my mom for her chronic back pain. My home life deteriorated quickly and I realized that the only way that I was going to make it out was by getting a good education.
I worked hard in high school, found some excellent role models through my Boy Scout Troop and graduated high in my class from McGuffey High School with the help of a number of good, kind-hearted folks that I still call my “adopted mothers” to this day.
I got accepted to my dream school, the University of Pittsburgh, but couldn’t afford the tuition at first so I had to take classes at the CCAC-Washington Campus for a semester. When I finally got to Pitt, I joined the Air Force ROTC and worked 30+ hours per week to pay my way through. I graduated Cum Laude with dual degrees in History and Political Science.
The following fall I was accepted to Pitt Law on scholarship and set out to learn how to best help those in need from my community. I volunteered my legal services for a number of organizations while in law school. Having known how it feels to be homeless myself I spent a summer volunteering at Neighborhood Legal Services, defending tenants who were being wrongfully evicted themselves.
A few weeks before graduating Law School, I found out that my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was only given a few months to live. He went into the hospital just after graduation. While he was in the hospital, my mother, overwhelmed with grief and addiction overdosed on prescription opioids.
The illusion of finally believing that I had escaped the cycle of poverty was shattered that day.
I took the Bar Exam a month later and passed.
Things seemed to have stabilized in my life until October 29, 2016 when I got a phone call that informed me that my big brother, Eric Pabian had overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl. He was 44 years old and had 2 teenage boys. I was devastated and swore to do everything in my power to stop this from happening to any more families.
In January of 2017, I decided that I wanted to use my education for the purposes of helping others. I started my own law practice and small business-Close to Home Settlement Services, LLC.
My work is centered on helping those who serve our community by providing Veterans, Police Officers, Firefighters and First Responders with free services to help them purchase homes.
My wife and I moved back to Washington County to raise our family in the community that I call home and to work to improve the lives of those around us.
My life has shown that the American Dream still exists with hard-work, determination and the help of others. However, I believe strongly that the path to a better life shouldn’t be so difficult to navigate.
I believe that the government can be a tool to help people who want to help themselves and I am running for State Senate to make the American Dream just a little bit more achievable for those, like me, who are willing to put in the hard-work to succeed. With your help, I will take my story and dedication to public service to Harrisburg to work to break-up the partisan deadlock which is affecting our communities.
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Join the James Craig for Senate campaign today and help us bring back the American Dream!