Passion for Politics
While he’s passionate about all things related to journalism, one of his greatest passions is for politics. Nelson’s exposure to politics began at an early age; his grandfather, the late J. Curtis Lewis Jr., became the first Republican mayor of a Georgia city since Reconstruction when he was elected Mayor of Georgia’s first city, Savannah, at age 40.
Under the tutelage of his grandfather, Nelson grew up to be a staunch and outspoken conservative, and has been actively involved in the Republican Party in various capacities since high school. Over the years, he has volunteered in several political campaigns such as Mel Martinez, Jack Kingston, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and even working the phones at the NRCCC in the 2010 Midterm and 2012 General Elections.
While in college at Lynn University in Florida, Nelson co-hosted a lively political debate show called “Politijam”, alongside friend and classmate Jacob Jaffe, with whom he would later go on to cross paths at Georgetown University while both were in graduate school.
In his sophomore year at Lynn University, Nelson began attending Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, a well-known conservative church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He became good friends with Reverend Dr. D. James Kennedy, the church’s pastor. Reverend Kennedy was one of the co-founders of “Moral Majority”, a prominent American political organization associated with the Christian right, and introduced Nelson to culturally conservative causes such as Evangelism Explosion International and introduced him to his wife Anne Kennedy, who subsequently became his teacher.
Work in Media
A defining moment for Nelson’s interest in conservative politics was the day before the 2004 Presidential Election, when the then-dean Irving R. Levine asked Nelson to moderate an on-campus preview debate between former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun representing the democrats, and former Pentagon spokeswoman Torey Clarke, representing the Republicans.
It was here that Nelson began forming a friendship with Levine, a longtime correspondent for NBC News with a colorful career spanning 45 years that would go on to recommend Nelson for an internship at WPBT’s Nightly Business Report, the Nation’s oldest financial news broadcast filmed in Miami. Nelson moved to the nation’s Capital immediately following graduation, yet remained friends with Levine until his 2009 death. Upon arriving in Washington in May of 2006, Nelson served as a press intern for Georgia republican representative Jack Kingston until he was hired by Fox News Channel to serve on the booking team in the network’s Washington bureau. Working at FNC afforded Nelson the opportunity to meet numerous hard-hitters in the political world.
In addition to politics, Nelson’s credits his fundamental belief in free markets and less government control to his business pioneer grandfather who owned new car dealerships and television and radio stations throughout the southeast, three of which were in Savannah: WJCL-TV/FM and WTGS.