Courtney Geels is the Republican Party’s nominee for U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Durham County, Orange County, Person County, Granville County, Alamance County and parts of Caswell County.
Geels is a nurse with ten years of experience in emergency and trauma medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bob Jones University, and this is her first time running for elected office.
Why she’s running
Geels was inspired to run for Congress after she and her husband, a certified public accountant, noticed similar top-down structures in their workplaces and within the American political system.
“We’re noticing a very similar trend, where you have really high-level executives making decisions that are so far removed from what their product is. For me, it was quality patient care and the bedside physical care of a patient, and for my husband, it was a financial audit,” Geels said. “It’s a very similar pattern I’m seeing in our federal government.”
Geels hopes to move power away from the federal government and towards state governments, and more generally to decentralize power. One of her key priorities would be to eliminate the use of executive orders by the president, either through federal legislation or by constitutional amendment.
“I don’t care if Trump’s president, I don’t care if Biden’s president, not one person should be able to make and enforce law,” Geels said.
Geels would also like to delegate more responsibility for education to the states. As an example of federal overreach, she cited the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to withhold school lunch funding from schools that did not have specific policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Geels takes a strong “pro-life” stance on abortion. However, due to her desire to decentralize power, Geels does not plan to introduce legislation related to abortion on the federal level, hoping to leave that decision up to the states. Nevertheless, Geels said that she would still vote for a federal abortion ban if such a bill was proposed.
Geels also emphasized that such a bill would have to make exceptions to protect the life of a mother, stressing the dangers of an ectopic pregnancy, a situation in which the fertilized egg is not implanted in the uterus and is thus non-viable. As for other exceptions, she would not personally support any for rape and incest.
“I have told people that my personal beliefs don’t include [exceptions for rape and incest],” said Geels. “But I would be happy to sign a bill that has [those exceptions] in there.”
Geels hopes to use her nursing experience to bring a patient-level perspective to healthcare reforms in Congress. She hopes to investigate and tweak the qualification structure for Medicaid, arguing that some low-income people make just above the threshold to qualify for Medicaid, incentivizing people to not work or work less.
A lack of transparency is the biggest problem facing U.S. healthcare, according to Geels. She supports the federal government mandating hospitals to publicly post their prices if they are receiving any sort of federal funds for healthcare.
Election integrity and voter fraud
Geels believes that elections are the role of the states and not the federal government. Thus, she would not plan to engage legislatively on elections. Geels does believe that substantial voter fraud occurred in the 2020 election in Georgia, though she affirms the ultimate outcome of the election.
She also stressed that she did not support the Capital riots on Jan. 6, calling them “illegal” and “horrific.”
Addressing gun violence
Geels believes that legislation that restricts the sale of semi-automatic weapons or permitless carry infringes on Second Amendment rights.
“The whole point is, again, to prevent tyrannical government, which my whole goal is to decrease the power of the federal level,” Geels said. “I've asked a ton of international people and said, ‘What do you like about America? What do you see significantly different about America and our government?’ [They] say you have guns, and they say it in a positive way.”
Geels, however, says that she is open to background checks or restrictions of a similar manner. She also argues that the federal government should spend money to bolster mental health care, specifically acute, chronic and preventative care, in order to bring down levels of gun violence.
Geels does not support canceling student loan debt for higher education.
“Debt is [when] you’ve purchased a product. So, whether it’s your education or your TV, you’ve purchased a product. You knew going in, that was the tuition,” said Geels.
Instead, Geels wants to focus on solutions that bring down the cost of a college education. She believes the reason tuition is so high is because the federal government is willing to give out giant loans.
“I think if schools knew that students didn’t have access to that high capital, would they even charge that much anymore?” Geels said.
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Jazper Lu is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.