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Donald Teel is the Founder and Editor of iVoteAmerica® and the Editor for iVoteNewHampshire.com. He has been an Arizona resident since 1960. He is a commercial real estate broker, private pilot, photographer and avid reader of America's history.

In life, we meet a lot of remarkable people. Life is at its best when we know that life is about people, not things, accomplishments or accumulations. I’m privileged to interview a lot of people and meeting and interviewing Alexandria Knox has brought me renewed hope in a number of ways. Politically, I’m inspired by her remarkable personal story, her resilience and the bright light of humanity she brought to me during our lengthy conversation by telephone.

If there are any, Ms. Knox is not a typical candidate for political office. She has been blind from birth. Yet, her spirit grabbed hold of me, convincing me that anything is possible if we simply view ourselves as God sees us, capable, talented, creative, and able to accomplish that which He put us on earth to do.

Alex was born three-months premature. Yet, when I listened to her I found not a hint of resentment or disappointment in her voice. Instead, I found a deep, tender thinker whose life shaped her for her newest challenge, running for political office in New Hampshire.

Despite. the circumstances surrounding her early birth and inability to see, Alexandria somehow learned to play the trumpet, bagpipes, and percussion instruments in high school. She shared some of those special moments with me and I came away vowing to try with renewed commitment to never complain again.

Alexandria will be an amazing representative of the people of her district in New Hampshire. Why am I so certain? Because she cares. I know that sounds trite, and I know every politician tells his or her constituents how much they care, but in this case, it’s true.

In conjunction with iVoteAmerica, iVoteNewHampshire is proud to announce our endorsement of Alexandria Knox for State Representative in New Hampshire. I’m not concerned at all that her constituents will find her responsive and true to her word. Alex is a conservative Republican running in a historically Democratic district.  Her values and belief that people can make decisions for themselves are self-evident. She will bring to voters a breath of fresh political air, and absence of pretense, and predictability.

Don’t mistake her for a patsy…far from it. She strong, principled, and will not compromise her core values. To know Alexandria is to like her, to believe in her abilities and to know that she will work for the best outcomes for voters. I hope you will me and support Alexandria Knox. Links to her website and other resources are included at the bottom of this interview.

Here’s my interview with Alexandria Knox, Republican, constitutional conservative, and candidate for New Hampshire House of Representatives. My questions are followed by Alexandria’s answers.

The Interview with Alexandria Knox

Donald: Let’s start with the big picture…can you summarize for iVoteAmerica your view of government in just a few sentences?

Yes, I can. Our government is in place to serve the people.  It’s gotten too big and too overbearing to the point that it is controlling people’s lives. It’s supposed to protect our liberties, property,  and to serve people. I believe in a small, effective, and efficient government that is less involved in telling us how to live.

Donald: What would you say is the least likable thing about government in New Hampshire?

We’re very lucky to live in a good state, but we are beginning to slide. Our motto is “Live Free or Die” but our liberties are beginning to crumble. We’re seeing government intrude into private businesses with a new push for a government-mandated $15 per hour minimum wage. This is the kind of thing that can destroy small and even large businesses. Many of the elected officials we have right now want to make government larger than it was intended to be. That’s the wrong direction.  With the minimum wage issue, I am a person with vision loss. The minimum wage law can actually work against people like me or people with minimum skills. Another battle we are facing is charter school funding. The left is fighting against school choice. My impression is they want control of education and think parents are not capable of making good decisions for their children. The left wants the government to be as large as it can, control of the institutions is a way to keep control.

Donald: Your life story is compelling … I’m moved by it…what factors influenced and shaped who you are today?

I grew up in a strong military family. I’m an only child. My grandfather was in both the Air Force and the Navy over a 30-year career. He was a huge influence on my life. He was a Selectman in Auburn New Hampshire. He believed in service to the nation, in giving back. I was born three months premature and without any sight. My mother and my grandmother raised me. But they didn’t treat me any differently than anyone else. They raised me with the same values, and with the same expectations as any other child. I was a musician before anything else and played percussion, trumpet, and bagpipes. My mother was amazing. At 17 years of age, I went on tour and she was behind me with a “go-for-it” attitude, and I did it, in Canada and the United States for the next four or five years. I moved to North Dakota which started me performing for veterans and honor guard as a bugler, and I did that for a few years. I then found the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Savannah Air Station. My family has always been behind me and supported me. That’s one of the reasons I’m running is that so much has been done for me, it is time for me to give back and serve. Politics is a path of service for me. The school was challenging. Mostly, the low expectations teachers and administrators had for me due to my vision loss. I was often the only student with vision loss. There was an adjustment made because educators couldn’t envision themselves with vision loss, and therefore they wondered how they would cope. They transferred their fear and panic on to me, and the attitude was “she must not be able to do this.” Not every school was like that…but many times they would water-down math and science. when I got to college, I was behind, largely because of the compromised education experience. Some teachers just weren’t willing to try, and there were some good, well-intentioned teachers who tried. There was no school choice and there was a Christian school that I wanted to go to because of its emphasis on music and the arts. Music was something that I could do that was bigger than myself. Without music, I was known a “the blind girl.” Music gave me an identity…I was the girl that played for the military. Music became my identity. The first instrument I mastered was percussion, then trumpet, and eventually bagpipes. I learned by ear, and by memory. I would take a recording and would memorize where the notes were, measure by measure. the last time I played the trumpet was in the Honor Guard for my Grandfather’s funeral, June 2015, and I missed one note during taps and felt terrible. I used to go to summer camps and unfortunately many kids were shelter…not me…my mother believed and instilled in me that I could spread my wings and do anything…and here I am!

Donald: In New Hampshire today who are the most influential political figures who are driving the agenda, Democrat and Republican.

We have an amazing Governor, Chris Sununu, he’s going to win again. He always puts the state and people first. On the left, we have the Speaker of the House, Steve Shurtleff. The state used to be purple and it’s now going slowly blue. The “Live Free or Die” motto is motivating a lot of us to run, because it’s threatened.

Donald: You’re in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Rockingham House District 26… teach me about the issues you want to address when you’re elected.

One of the biggest problems we face is the Opioid epidemic. This is one bi-partisan issue we can address. Governor Sununu is doing a great job on this issue with the Doorway Program, Recovery Workplace program, and the Granite Hammer that gets dealers arrested. This is one of the biggest issues I want to address and solve. I’m also in favor of competitive education, not the one size fits all approach.

Donald: Is New Hampshire’s government too big and how does its size relate to the lives of its citizens? How is the government not so good for people with disabilities?

That’s a great question. There was a shift in New Hampshire politics in 2014-16. The left got louder, and the right started backing down more…the left is chasing off conservatives. he progressives are starting to take over the policy arguments…in some way we are starting to look like Vermont. Federally, I think we have too low expectations of people with disabilities. We’re putting kids on Social Security benefits at the age of 18, and we need to realize that create dependency. The government sometimes wants dependency. We should see people with disabilities as capable people who do not need to go to the government to ask them, “What can I do, what am I capable of doing?” The government needs to see people with disabilities as capable citizens, capable people of society. I once applied to bag groceries and was told I could not apply directly, I had to talk to the government. When I went to apply for jobs, the answer was, “I would like to hire you…but.”

Donald: What is the most difficult issue you’re facing in the campaign at the moment?

Fundraising, of course, like every candidate. I am hearing from people from Michigan, California, and New York. It’s still early but we are building.

Donald: On a scale of 1-10 how intrusive is New Hampshire government in the lives of people who want liberty?

I would give it a 4, but that could change. The government is becoming more intrusive…people used to see New Hampshire as a more conservative state.

Donald: What is the need of the moment in your district that is keeping you up at night?

The erosion of our freedoms, freedom of speech, threats to the Second Amendment, and freedom of religion, illegal immigration. We have things that scare me, like bail reform, the rewarding of criminal behavior. We are punishing law-abiding citizens while we reward lawbreakers.

Donald: At iVoteAmerica we place a high premium on the sanctity of life, the importance of family, community and self-sufficiency…what are your life views.

As a person born three months premature, I know how valuable life can be. I’m so thankful that while it was a struggle for my mother, she did all she could to support and encourage me. I actually had a twin brother born at the same time…he did not survive…I believe he passed an hour after we were both born. I believe life begins at conception and abortion is horrible. Only in the rare case of the life of the mother should it happen. While I try to understand the other side of the issue, the left is now advocating for late-term abortion, well what does that look like? That looks like someone like me, or others would be denied life. For convenience we are allowing abortion on demand…we’re even celebrating it.  Abortion should not be celebrated by the left. Take Iceland as an example…yes, they have eliminated Downs Syndrome, by terminating the life of unborn babies. I am pro-life, all the way.

Donald: What are your non-negotiables? What are the things you will never compromise?

I’m a strong person of faith, a Christian woman.  My faith has gotten me through. Without God, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I don’t know where I would be without God. I know God has a purpose of my life and the lives of others. Sometimes people feel sorry for me, but God made me the way I am, without sight, God put me here for a reason, no matter what my condition. I try to read a verse a day, I pray…I pray a lot.

Donald: How’s the New Hampshire healthcare system working?

It’s good, but there should be more choices. I’m not an advocate of Medicare for all program. Healthcare is one of the freedom issues. We should have a choice.

Donald: Wha about immigration in New Hampshire?

Like other issues, the left is trying to do more for illegals. An example is a legislature just tried to pass a bill to give illegals driver’s licenses, but it failed.

Lightning Round – Quick Answers to Quick Questions

Donald: Hobbies?

Reading, dining out, movies, TV

Donald: Your favorite food?

Curry and rice…I love it!

Donald: What do you love most about America?

Freedom to be who we want to be, to reach for our dreams. Some like me can run for office.

Donald: Self-improvement goal?

To be more confident in me. Getting better at doing more challenging things…public speaking, knocking on doors.

Donald: What time do you wake up in the morning?

7 am

Donald: Favorite president?

President Reagan. He once met with vision-impaired people and never made hem feel different.

Donald: First job?

When I was in high school a country-western band needed a drummer and I did it one night and got paid.

Donald: Do you have a pet?

A cat named Ralphie.

Resources:

Visit Alexandria Knox’s campaign Website

Donate to Alexandria’s Campaign

Visit Alexandria on Twitter

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