Ohio Teen “Ticked” at Government Now Joins the Fight, Not the Club

April 30, 2012 | By Lauren Hart

Timothy Hershner, now 25, still vividly remembers the story “Big Jim,” his best friend’s father Jim Gerwin, shared with him.

In the 1970s Henry and Fern, two people who worked in his Ohio shoe factory, both were hard workers, working 40 hours each week plus 10 hours each of overtime.  However, they owed the government more than 30 percent of their pay in income taxes.  

“Jim offered to help the two with their taxes because he thought he could save them money, but due to the couple being scared of the IRS, they decided to just pay the taxes,” Tim recalls.

“It is solely this story that got me ticked off with the government and eventually led to my political activity,” Tim said. “From this talk, I remember volunteering for George W. Bush in both his first and second campaigns at the polls.”

But it’s not just presidential Election Day poll work Tim’s done.

He was also a volunteer in college for the Brad Wenstrup for Cincinnati Mayor campaign as well as the Debbi Alsfelder for Congress campaign.

Leadership Institute graduate Debbi Alsfelder suggested that Tim, her outreach/volunteer coordinator at the time, check out LI for political training. 

He did.

In October 2010, Tim attended the Leadership Institute’s Youth
Leadership School in Indianapolis, Indiana. This began his passionate pursuit of public policy learning through many LI trainings and eventually an internship at the Leadership Institute in the summer of 2011, where he worked for LI’s Campus Leadership Program and CampusReform.org.

“The biggest thing the Leadership Institute instilled in me was to stay aggressive and to make sure that I kept networking.  LI showed me how to follow up with my network and how to connect the dots when applying to positions later down the road,” Tim said.

Tim has also interned for U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (Ohio) and U.S. Rep. Steve Austria (OH-07).

After graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Tim returned to Washington to intern for Congressman Todd Akin (M0-02).

Tim now works for Congressman Chip Cravaack (MN-08) full-time in his Washington office.


Pictured left is Tim on the balcony of House Speaker John Boehner’s office after becoming an official Hill staffer.

He serves constituents in answering their phone calls, provides Capitol tours for those visiting DC, and manages the Congressman’s busy schedule.  Tim’s staff assistant position has grown to include executive assistant responsibilities.



“LI’s Conservative Career Workshop helped me feel more comfortable when interviewing” for his current job on the Hill, Tim said.  “The Leadership Institute is a conservative organization that can not only help you hone your talents, but also help turn your weaknesses into strengths.  LI will help people be well rounded by gaining a broad knowledge with respect to the world of politics and how this world works.”

Tim joins tens of thousands of other Leadership Institute graduates working in “the world of politics” for the causes and candidates of their choice.  Please welcome Tim as the Leadership Institute's graduate of the week!

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.