T.J. Templeton is a resident of Le Mars who hails from Kansas City, Mo. Bringing his self-started, grassroots activist network to Plymouth County, he’s been able to tap into the needs of the community while being bolstered by the national support base of his organization.
T.J. founded and currently directs the Project for the Old American Century. The organization serves as an Internet-based news outlet, media archive and online community that focuses on corporate and government corruption. Before his work with the project, T.J. co-owned a small business and worked as a retail store manager and a factory laborer. This work history has given him the perspective and values of the common workingperson. He knows what it’s like to live from paycheck to paycheck while trying to afford health care and education.
Lacking the good fortune to have been a native of northwest Iowa, T.J. is fiercely proud of the years that he’s spent there. His wife was raised in the area and her parents are longtime fixtures in the region, having farmed there and formerly been the owners of Eilers Farm Services.
T.J. is the product of what a positive work ethic can do for people. Neither of his parents had a high school education. His mother was a stay-at-home mom with two children, and his father was a mill worker whose wages were barely enough to support the family. The Templetons hung onto the lowest rungs of the economic ladder when T.J. was a child. Later, T.J.’s father was hired at Reynolds Metals and was able to join the United Steelworker’s union. It was at that point that the family’s economic situation greatly improved. Thanks to his work ethic, T.J.’s father was able to receive adequate compensation for the level of work he was willing to do. He was a man without a high school diploma who was able to work hard enough to put his family in a nice neighborhood, create a college fund and have opportunities that he could never have imagined without a union job to reward his work ethic.
At 37 years old, T.J. feels his time has come to apply what he’s learned thus far to better his community and become the catalyst for change that is so desperately need in District 3.