Laurie Godfrey McReynolds

Laurie Godfrey McReynolds, a Republican running for the U.S. House District 17 seat in the March 3 primary, has said her priorities would be supporting President Donald Trump; education; and finding a “solution for illegal immigration,” including building a border wall and improving the system for illegal immigrants already here

Laurie Godfrey McReynolds, a 58-year-old laundry and dry cleaning business owner from China Spring, said she believes America suffers from overregulation and that fixing entitlement programs, notably Social Security, would be high on her priority list if elected. “I want to take some common sense up to Washington. I want to take negotiating skills up to Washington,” McReynolds said at a candidate forum last month. “I am a businesswoman that knows how to get things done.”

Q: Was there a defining moment that prompted you to run?

A: I have been in the private sector as an owner since I was 20, The past couple of years, I have been upset at the way President Trump was being criticized by the media and the Democrats, With politicians moving our country towards socialism,

I felt I could no longer sit back. I had to stand up and use my wisdom and common sense to support President Trump.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born in Texas and raised by conservative, Christian parents. I started working at my father’s business at the age of 13. I graduated from Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas, in 1979. I moved to Waco in 1984 and started my first dry cleaning business with one location and grew it to four locations within eight years, with over 60 employees. My business [Comet Cleaners and The Laundry Room] has been voted No. 1 in several different publications...for many years. I have employed hundreds of employees and served thousands of customers with in the last 36 years. When I was 45, I attended McLennan Community College and Tarleton State University and graduated with a 3.75 [GPA], all within three years. At 50, I acquired a real estate license. Four years ago, I saw that the dry cleaning industry was changing directions and I decided to open a coin laundry to adapt with the changes.

Q: Donald Trump has been a transformative figure, not only for the Republican Party but the nation. How has he made the Republican Party better, or has he?

A: I believe that President Trump has been great for the Republican Party and this nation. If you ever wondered what Republicans stand for, he has shown the country. It’s very clear that he is pro life, against socialism, wants prayer back in school, wants better education for our children, wants to have a stronger border security, having taxes reduced, lowering welfare expenses, getting people back to work and appointing conservative judges.

Q: Research indicates that lawmakers who have served on a city council, a school board, a planning and zoning commission or a philanthropic board demonstrate superior results in terms of passing bipartisan legislation. Do you have any experience like that?

A: I have volunteered for many nonprofits in the past and served on the Family Y Board in Waco. I was a board member of the Southwest Dry Cleaning Board for seven years and appointed a panel member to the Small Business Compliance Assistance Panel in 2007 due to my expert experience in the dry cleaning industry. I have had to work with City officials when working on building plans and compliance in the dry cleaning industry. I have experience and understandings of how to work well with others to get things done. When you own a business, you obtain the same type of experience in dealing with customers and employees. You have to be flexible and practical to make customers and employees happy. Currently, I have employees who have been working for my business for 20-30 years. The dry cleaning industry is a hard business and as an owner, you have to wear many hats to be successful.

Q: Do you believe we are experiencing human-caused climate change to the extent we need to aggressively address the problem nationwide?

A: No.

Q: Why would you be better than your fellow primary election competitors filling this post?

A: I have been successful in business for over 35 years. I know how to work well with others, have great business experience and ethics, wisdom and common sense. I’m not a career politician, I’m not an attorney, I haven’t been going to school to learn how to be a politician, and I haven’t been trying to get elected for personal or financial gains. I’m just a regular person like you, that is fed up with the current political system and I think a successful business person would be best suited for Congress at this time.

Q: What are people telling you on the campaign trail?

A: When I tell someone I’m running, the first thing they say is we need term limits for our politicians. I totally agree with these individuals and feel the same. I have obtained research on this matter and found that there is a committee already working on this issue within Washington, D.C. According to the research, it requires at least 38 state governors to approve and implement a change. I would like to work with this committee to make this happen. I believe six years is plenty.

Q: Your website mentions your support of the Second Amendment. What do you think of suggestions about closing off most background-check loopholes, especially in gun transfers between strangers as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick now advises?

A: I strongly support that all law-abiding Americans have the freedom to live with the Second Amendment as their right — the Second Amendment should never be changed. There are individuals such as criminals, terrorists and individuals with mental illness that should not be able to get guns and have regulations in place to help detour them from getting guns. Gun owners and gun dealers need to be responsible, to keep America safe.

Q: Your website also mentions you would work to repeal Obamacare. What are your thoughts on health-care access and ideas for replacing it?

A: Obamacare has not worked. Americans need to have availability to choose their own health care and medical plans. Like prohibition, Obamacare was forced upon us. We need more clinics that have physician assistants, with a primary doctor residing over the facility, who can give treatment and medication at a nominal price. Insurance as a whole needs to go back to the marketplace so it is more competitive. It would make it more affordable for individuals.

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