Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Publication: WMUR Date: June 28, 2018 Link
‘AMERICAN SUNSHINE.’ Two decades ago, Jay Lucas emerged on the political scene in New Hampshire as a political outsider intent on bringing his business acumen to the governor’s office.
Lucas won a tough Republican gubernatorial primary battle with former state Sen. Jim Rubens, but went on to lose to Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen in the general election.
Lucas returned to the private sector and is the founder and chairman of the Lucas Group, based in New York, and managing director of L.B. Equity. He’s a former partner at Bain and Company.
His first book, “American Sunshine,” strikes exudes positive tone about the future of the country and stresses a return to positive discourse in all walks of life.
In a passage that reflects the tone of the book, Lucas writes, “I’m optimistic because I know the positive spirit and positive energy remains … To be successful, it will take consistent energy, a positive spirit and a will to win. However, it is absolutely achievable. And, without question, it is absolutely worth the effort.”
In an interview this week, Lucas told us, “It is my first book, and basically I did it because I’m an optimist and I love America. I see the bitter, divisive political stuff, the debate, and feel that we can rise above it and transcend it.
“This is a book about America, but it has a spiritual dimension to it. It is about the human spirit, and if you really believe that you can achieve, then you can. There is a can-do spirit and the power of belief is part of it.
“And it is also a fun book. It is 28 chapters and each chapter has its own cartoon to illustrate a major point of the chapter.”
Lucas said that the book has been on the Amazon website for about six weeks, and it was a top bestseller on the first day.
“I define what I call modern patriotism,” Lucas said. “I believe in our traditional American values and all of the freedoms we enjoy, the freedom of speech and religion. But let’s go beyond that to modern patriotism, which is for each person an opportunity and a responsibility to achieve and fulfill our full potential.”
Lucas has been active in Children of Fallen Patriots, a nonprofit foundation that provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.
“So far we’ve helped over 1,100 kids, and 98 cents of every dollar goes to the kids,” he said.
He has also been deeply involved in an effort to revitalize Newport, the town in which he grew up.
He organized meetings of business and community leaders and spearheaded ballot proposals, called the Newport Sunshine Initiative, one of which appropriated funded architectural plans for a community center.
“We’re restoring an old mill,” Lucas said. “I’ve got three digital entrepreneurial firms in New York putting together a program to train 20 students in Newport on computers and guarantee work for them when they come out of the program.
“Nothing I’ve ever done has been as rewarding as this.”