Jeffrey Carson doesn't seem to miss a beat. He's responsive, he speaks with ease rather than talking points, and he's driven by conviction — just like the candidate he represents in Missouri's GOP primary for U.S. Senate.
Carson is the campaign manager for Austin Petersen, who is seeking to eventually topple incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Petersen was a Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 2016, and came in second. Now, he's running to represent his home state, and shows poll numbers against McCaskill that are turning voters' heads.
But Petersen faces a challenging primary on August 7, in a race that includes Attorney General Josh Hawley and bomber pilot Tony Monetti as other top contenders.
So who is this guy running the campaign?
From 2004-2008, Jeff Carson was a Patriot missile defense officer and later a ground liaison officer in the U.S. Army, serving all over The Gulf, including Iraq.
"My whole family is military — literally, everyone. My mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, brother, all three uncles, grandpas...I'm the runt who only served four years, everyone else was career.
"Service is in our blood. That's why I do what I do now; it's another way I can serve, here on the political side. We have a big problem with politicians and our political system in this country."
That's why Carson says he felt a different calling after his four years were up. He secured an MBA from Texas Tech following his military discharge, and worked for "the man," (including contracting for Google and product development for Asurion), for a number of years before quitting his job to join the political arena.
He explained to TheBlaze that the corporate world wasn't for him: "I believed my path would be different than that. Something in my gut just told me."
What drew him to work with Petersen?
Carson originally worked for Petersen's 2016 presidential race. When asked why he signed on for another run, he told TheBlaze, "First and foremost: It's really, really tough to find good people in politics, who you can trust to make the right decisions — even when it's difficult.
"And finding the right candidates? That's nearly impossible."
But Carson says Petersen is that type of candidate. He said of Austin, "I've seen him bribed and even threatened over the time we've worked together, and he's always told the bad guys to take a hike. That's always stuck with me.
"Austin always says, 'You may not always agree with me, but you can trust me to be honest.' Even on things that we know aren't the most popular positions to have in a Republican primary."
He reiterates that a great thing about Petersen is that he spells everything out, and there are no secrets or surprises for voters. "Go on his website, and check out where he stands on the issues," Carson said, "you don't have to question what you're getting with him as a candidate. He's transparent."
Here's an interview Petersen did with Ben Shapiro, who calls him a friend: