By EVAN WADE
Connections to Clay County brought Eighth District Congressional candidate John Jennings to Brazil's Rotary Club Wednesday, where he gave a brief speech to Rotarians about his past times and future plans.
Jennings' roommate at Indiana University was former Mayor Kenny Crabb's son, Casey. He said he spent a lot of time in Brazil, doing things in his younger days he "didn't want to tell about."
At IU he worked for Bob Knight as student manager for the IU basketball team. He also worked as an assistant coach of the Boston Celtics during the Larry Bird era and a talent scout for the Indiana Pacers.
Currently living in Vandeburgh County, Jennings came from humble beginnings. He was raised by a single mother who worked third shift as a steel worker to support the family. This experience, he said, led him to a strong stance on educational funding.
"I was only able to attend college because of a federal Pell Grant," he said. "College should not become a luxury for the privileged few."
Educating students is only the first step, he said. After these students graduate, it should be the district's duty to keep them in Indiana.
"We have thousands of talented young people here," he said. "We need to bring the jobs they're qualified for."
Jensen mentioned high-tech jobs, such as bio- and nanotechnology, as important industries for the state. He said the low cost of living offers an advantageous situation to bring jobs to Indiana.