Courtney Geels said as someone who has never been a politician before, running in the primary elections was intimidating because there are so many polarizing topics that could irritate people before a conversation has begun. Geels said as a nurse, she knows how to talk to different kinds of people, and she has employed this same skill while campaigning.

“Nursing is actually really similar because all patients are going to be very different, and just learning how to talk to people from their perspective rather than my perspective,” Geels said. 

Geels is a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives representing District 4. 

She said after the federal government instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for frontline essential health care workers, she was moved to go into politics to represent not only herself as a nurse, but also her parents, who are respiratory therapists. 

“Maybe six months before that, they’re being praised for, ‘You’re putting your life on the line, thank you for going to work, thank you for risking your lives, thank you for saving all these people,’” Geels said. “Six months later, the federal government decides, ‘Oh, we’re going to force this, … thank you for killing yourselves for the past six months at 60 years old. You’re almost about to retire, but guess what, we’re going to fire you if you don’t comply on this.’”

Geels also said she felt misled by rhetoric surrounding the vaccine. She said the vaccine was advertised as a way to prevent infection, but in reality, it is more effective at protecting infected people from getting seriously ill.

“The rhetoric around the vaccine from the rollout to about six months in when they started mandating, it was that we’re going to protect the patients, we’re going to protect the vulnerable, and really that rhetoric was related to the underlying premise that taking a vaccine helps other people,” Geels said. 

Geels said she has traditionally conservative opinions. As someone who supports interpreting the Constitution exactly as it was written, one of Geels’ platforms is protecting the Second Amendment. 

Geels said that while she personally feels better, as a woman, being able to protect herself with a gun, that isn’t the main reason she believes protecting the Second Amendment is important. 

“It was really an additional checks and balance on the federal government,” Geels said. “When it comes to power, I think when you give people too much power, they abuse it, and that’s just a natural human reaction.”