Meet Jim

A veteran, retired law enforcement officer, pastor, and most importantly, a proud American, Jim Nelson has been a public servant for more than three decades.  He is running for Congress to return the People’s House back to where it belongs – with the people – and to bring a no-nonsense approach to Washington.

Born and raised in McKeesport, Jim graduated from McKeesport Area High School with a Congressional nomination to West Point.  He went on to serve his country with the United States Air Force and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and was honorably discharged.

In 1981, Jim graduated seventh in his class from the Allegheny County Police and Fire Academy and obtained a certificate of graduation from the Sheriff’s Academy in 1985.  During his 30-year tenure in law enforcement, Jim served as an Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sergeant/Supervisor, and as a police officer with both the City of McKeesport and the University of Pittsburgh.  He was also a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Fugitive Task Force, which was comprised of troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the City of Pittsburgh, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Allegheny County Police.

After retiring from the police force, Jim remained in public service, working as a Community Liaison and Office Director for the former 18th congressional district of Pennsylvania.  He has taken pride in getting to know the communities of western Pennsylvania, ensuring the safety of their residents, and making a difference in the lives of many.

A seminary graduate with a Ph.D. in biblical studies, Jim is the Senior Pastor of New Birth Ministries in Duquesne.  There, he has led his church through the purchase of their current sanctuary, founded a community outreach program, and has grown the congregation.  Some of Jim’s sermons – and his recognizable voice – have been heard on local Pittsburgh radio.  Jim has been invited to preach at the United States Capitol and served the Pennsylvania State Senate as Chaplain for a Day in Harrisburg.  

In his spare time, Jim is active with several community organizations, including the Community Police Relations Group Forum and Variety Club of Pittsburgh, where he is a past award recipient.  He volunteers as an educator to future members of the law enforcement community and is a Cultural Diversity and Sensitivity Instructor.  He was a presenter in the Personal Safety and Awareness Seminar, the Community Awareness and Safety Training, the Army Model Employer with a Diverse and Effective Workplace, the Founded Upon Equality of Opportunity Program, and the Unity in the Community Brunch.

If elected to Congress, Jim’s priority is to defend the values of western Pennsylvania, the same values that America was founded upon, and to be a true representative of his district. Jim proudly belongs to the original Republican party that believes in individual liberty, limited government, and that all men and women are created equal. He’ll fight for commonsense policies that ensure safety in our schools, lower taxes to help families make ends meet, economic prosperity, and better education for the next generation.

Jim is proud to call PA-17 home and he resides in Penn Hills with his wife Carol.  They have two daughters, Jennifer and Crystal, and a son-in-law, Leo.