With Election Day less than a week away, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Geoff Diehl is sitting down NBC10 Boston's Alison King to talk about life and politics.
Diehl and his wife, KathyJo, still laugh about a speech he gave in their hometown of Whitman, Massachusetts, as a first-time candidate for state representative almost 10 years ago.
KathyJo says she had to be brutally honest and it wasn't good. Even Diehl admits it was terrible.
Fast forward a decade and Diehl is now debating on statewide TV as the Republican hopes to unseat incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is known for her sharp debating skills.
When asked what motivated him to take on one of the most iconic politicians in the United States, Diehl says he wasn't really thinking of it that way.
"When I saw after the 2016 election that Washington really still hadn't gotten the message that people want change," Diehl said.
It's the reason Diehl says he became Donald Trump's state co-chair and why he has devoted his life this year to the campaign trail. It's a path Diehl never predicted growing up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
"My mother and father both married three different times, so I was kind of moved around a lot to different schools. It wasn't easy back then," he said.
After high school in Illinois, Diehl moved back to Bethlehem to go to Lehigh University. After graduation, he moved to New York City to work in ad sales. His roommate set him up on a blind date with a recent New York University graduate -- a performer who had Broadway on her repertoire.
"I really didn't want to go. But I did and it was instant really," KathyJo Diehl recalled.
They were married in KathyJo's hometown of Whitman just over a year later. After a stint in California for KathyJo's career, they moved back to Whitman and opened a small business.
"It's a performing arts school that she teaches dancing, acting, and voice, and I help with some of the shows and kind of the janitorial stuff, I guess you could say," said Diehl. "But generally speaking, it's a partnership that we put our life savings into."
Both of Diehl's daughters have their mother's athleticism. Sixteen-year-old Kaylee's Whitman Hanson High school cheerleading squad have won state and national titles. Twelve-year-old Emily is following in her footsteps.
Diehl says being away from family has been the hardest part of running for U.S. Senate.
He knows he's a long shot against Warren, but he says he has always done best when he's been underestimated.