Justin Kanew is a writer/producer who was also a two-time contestant on The Amazing Race on CBS with his best friend Zev Glassenberg, the first Amazing Racer ever on the autism spectrum. "Zev was the amazing, Justin was the race," as Zev likes to say. They were recently named among the "25 Most Unforgettable Teams of All Time".
Being on the race taught him that no matter where you go - whether it be Cambodia or Austria or Brazil - we're all human beings who want the same things deep down, and he believes it's time to get back to focusing on our similarities rather than our differences.
After the race, Justin and Zev were awarded the Hollyrod Champions Award by Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete’s Hollyrod 4 Kids Foundation for spreading awareness about autism, and did a series of speaking engagements on behalf of Autism Speaks.
Justin spent over a decade in the entertainment industry as a writer/producer of everything from digital content to feature films. He was named Vice President of Production & Development of National Lampoon at 26, and raised $4 million dollars to produce a comedy called Welcome to the Jungle starring Jean-Claude Van Damme in Puerto Rico at 33. He'll be the first to admit he isn't a politician, but he's no stranger to jumping in the deep end and getting things done.
Justin and his wife Nicole, a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst for children with mental health issues, wanted to raise their daughter Kaia in a family-friendly, community-oriented environment with a good public school system, and they found what they were looking for in Williamson County. The Kanews brought Kaia, their two dogs, and their cat to College Grove, where they immediately fell in love with the area and planted roots.
Justin has been outspoken about social and political issues on Twitter for the better part of a decade, where he has accumulated over 16,000 followers. He also hosted a short podcast called "Get It Got It Good", which was previously #16 on the iTunes news & politics chart, and once hosted a show called "Let's Get Digital!" on TradioV.com with guests such as Terrell Owens, Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, Veep’s Matt Walsh, Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, Eric Roberts and more.
Justin never intended on a career in politics, but was driven to jump into the race by a deep belief that the people of the 7th District deserve a representative that stands for honesty and accountability - one who isn't beholden to special interests, and will always put voters over donors.
Like many in Williamson County, The Kanews fell hard and fast for Middle Tennessee, one of the most beautiful places in the country, with some of the nicest people in the country, and they'll be raising Kaia, and any future Kanews, right here in College Grove.