Paul Kerr

Paul Kerr


Editor’s Note: This biography was provided by the candidate’s office.

Working Class Roots: Paul was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved to a small, farming town in the central Arizona desert when he turned 8. Paul’s Dad worked for a clothing manufacturer, before moving into sales for a freight carrier. Paul’s Mom worked as a homemaker. The oldest of 6, Paul was raised in a middle-class community, by working-class parents.

Health Care is Not a Game: When Paul turned 16, he moved to northern San Diego County. Shortly before the move, his Mom was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Within a year, she was confined to a wheelchair, and his aunt moved in to help. That meant nine people living in a 1,300 square foot, 4-bedroom house, all of whom in their own way, were coping with the emotional and financial challenges that accompanied this horrific illness. In 1974, three years after being diagnosed, his Mom died of ALS.

Veteran in a Military Family: After his junior year of high school, at the age of 17, Paul joined the U. S. Navy. He served on a destroyer stationed in San Diego and completed a tour off the coast of Vietnam shortly after the war ended. After three proud years of service, Paul was honorably discharged and joined a long list that includes four WW II Vets, one of whom was a Purple Heart recipient, a Korean war-era Vet, three Vietnam War Vets, a Naval Academy graduate who served in Iraq, and an Iraq war Veteran who recently retired as a Brigadier General, among others. Paul also has a nephew who will soon be commissioned as an Air Force officer, which will mean that some member of Paul’s family will have served in every branch of our nation’s military except the Coast Guard. Service to our country is a long-standing, family tradition.

Worked His Way thru College: Like many Vets, Paul got out of the service without any training for civilian work. This led to a variety of minimum wage restaurant jobs. After being denied a promotion to management due to his lack of a college degree, Paul enrolled at San Diego State University. He was 29 at the time. Unfortunately, his GI Bill benefits expired after his freshman year, so Paul had to work full time and take out student loans to make ends meet. Paul was the first one in his family to graduate from college. Although long-overdue, that was an extremely gratifying day. Despite working full-time, Paul graduated with over
$20,000 in student loans. In hindsight, however, it was the best investment he ever made.

Business Owner: After graduating, Paul worked for seven years as a commercial real estate appraiser. For the past 20 years, he’s been an owner of a San Diego-based investment firm. During this time, Paul and his partner have created thousands and thousands of jobs and advancement opportunities for the people who work for his firm.

Community Service: Paul’s found a variety of ways to give back to the community that’s given him so much. Paul has been a member of the Advisory Board of the San Diego State University Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate since shortly after its inception, as well as an active and long-standing supporter of the San Diego Police Officers’ Widows and Orphans Fund, the California Highway Patrol 99–11 Foundation, the MS Society and Fresh Start Surgical Gifts.

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