Nick Troiano is a civic entrepreneur from Milford, PA who has spent the last decade advancing non-partisan reforms to fix our broken political system and our unsustainable federal budget. He is running as an independent candidate, citizen-funded candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district.
A lifelong Republican, Nick began considering running for Congress as an independent candidate following the October 2013 government shutdown, which he believed demonstrated the ultimate dysfunction of a political system gridlocked by partisanship and special interest corruption.
Strong Northeast Pennsylvania Roots
Nick graduated from Delaware Valley High School as Student Body President and, at the time, was named a “Future Leader of Pike County.” In high school, Nick started a mobile food concession business, Hot Diggity Dogs, which he operated at local sports fields, flea markets and fairs. Nick also co-founded and led a non-profit organization, the Pike County Youth Coalition, which won competitive grant funding to initiate the first online broadcast of local school board meetings, organized an afterschool volunteerism program and initiated the county’s first youth mentoring program.
Throughout high school and college, Nick worked as a reporter for the Pike County Courier and as a Visitors Services Representative in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. As a junior in high school, Nick attended the American Legion’s Pennsylvania Boys State and Boys Nation civics programs, which inspired his path into public service.
A Front Row Seat in Our Nation’s Capitol
Nick attended college in Washington, DC, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in American Government from Georgetown University, following the completion of his undergraduate degree with honors.
At Georgetown, Nick was elected chair of the student government’s budget committee and spearheaded the Georgetown Social Innovation and Public Service Fund (SIPS Fund), a $1.5 million endowment that supports young social entrepreneurs and volunteers. He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young Americans in the U.S. Congress and its impact on public policy. In Washington, Nick worked for both Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and for the former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush, John Bridgeland.
Innovative Leader on Fiscal and Political Reform
Nick is a co-founder of The Can Kicks Back, a non-partisan and non-profit organization that educated and engages the public about the national debt and federal budget. TCKB’s Advisory Board includes the nation’s top leaders for fiscal reform, including Erskine Bowles (D), former Senator Alan Simpson (R) and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker.
Nick was instrumental in drafting the INFORM Act –– a bipartisan piece of budget reform legislation that has been endorsed by over 1,000 economists and introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Nick traveled to 22 states in the fall of 2013 to speak to college and young professional audiences about the national debt along a cross-country “Generational Equity Tour.”
Prior to The Can Kicks Back, Nick served as former Communications Manager and, later, National Campus Director for Americans Elect, which sought to field a bipartisan ticket for president and vice-president in 2012 through the first-ever online nominating convention. Among other things, Nick led a 23-city East Coast bus tour during the Republican primaries.
National Impact and Recognition
Nick is a James Madison Fellow with the Millennial Action Project, the nation’s first nonprofit organization dedicated to ending political stagnation through post-partisan leadership. He has also traveled internationally to explore emerging economies, including China and Russia, and meet with leaders in both government and civil society.
Nick is featured in the political coming-of-age documentary "Follow the Leader," which premiered at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2012 and was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013. He is also featured in a forthcoming documentary on America's looming retirement crisis, “Broken Eggs.”
He has provided commentary for media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO, C-SPAN, Bloomberg TV, FOX News and Al Jazeera English. In addition, he has been a frequent speaker on these topics at events and conferences across the country –– including at the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.