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Swann says serving others is the basis for why she’s running

This story ran originally as part of KBTX's Your Vote Counts: Campaigns and Coronavirus special report. Watch the special in the video player on this page.
Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 6:47 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) COVID-19 has changed our lives, from how we interact to the political process. The District 17 Congressional race, currently in a runoff that will be determined July 14, has felt the impacts of the pandemic. KBTX’s Fallon Appleton spent a day on the campaign trail with each candidate vying to be District 17′s next voice in Congress.

Renee Swann is a name many people in the District had never heard before this year. In February, she became outgoing Congressman Bill Flores’ pick to take his seat in the House of Representatives.

Before Renee Swann announced her run for Congress, she was the Chief Operations Officer and Co-owner of Brazos Eye Surgery of Texas. She’s retired now but still takes time to check-in.

When I visited her in Waco, we went to the eye clinic, newly back to operating under Governor Abbott’s ‘Open Texas’ guidelines.

Once inside, I asked Swann about what it meant to see the business that she and her husband, Dr. Russell Swann, built back open again.

“I’ll try not to get emotional about it because when you are in patient care, you are truly investing in the lives of the people you serve and you know what you do makes a difference. So for us to be able to open back up, and even though we are seeing a limited number of patients in order to keep everyone safe with our protocol, it’s like a great big hurrah!”

I asked Mrs. Swann about her thoughts on how the COVID-19 response has been handled, and she thinks it’s been handled well.

“Well, I think it has been handled as well as it could be, certainly by President Trump. He is a man who knows how to find the resources and the folks he depends on for counsel. And then you have seen good government leaders decide on what is necessary to fund a repair.”

Since the onset of the pandemic in the U.S., a two billion dollar relief act was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, sending most Americans a check directly from the government for $1,200.

Swann says she thinks Congress made the right choices.

“I think they have made the right steps to begin with, because they have given aid where aid needs to be given. But we don’t want to allow ourselves to follow the path of the socialist agenda, which is to push us into dependency and a welfare state. So we need the government to step in and look at regulations. We’ve already seen it happen, in order to make things happen quickly, they have already removed regulations in so many ways. We want those basic stabilites and the best way to get them is to keep our taxes low, keep government out of business, and let us loose with it.”

Renee Swann

Each week during the pandemic, Swann has been volunteering at Shepherds Heart Food Pantry in Waco.

She told me she normally helps out sorting lettuce, but when I visited, she helped put together complete meals.

She says her time interacting with people reminds her why she is running.

One-stop in particular at a Waco woman’s home really stuck with Swann.

“On her front doors, as we pulled up in big letters, it said ‘God did this,‘” Swann said as she held back tears. “I was honored. I was humbled to meet such a special woman. To make that one on one delivery was what makes being in this race all worth it to me.”

During the delivery, Swann and the woman took a moment and prayed together.

I asked Swann about the moment of prayer. She said at the moment it was something natural, but not something she normally does.

She says, “We were like one person. One heart in that exchange.”

Back at Swann’s home during a staff meeting, she and her team discussed wellness checks, schedules, and platform items.

One of these issues was China.

“Make no mistake. China is not a friend. The globalists would have us believe so. In fact, career politicians would like us to follow a globalist model and the good thing that has happened in this crisis is that we all now see clearly that globalism does not work.”

A lot in Swann’s life has changed since making the runoff. On the night of the primary election in March, she met one of two previously unknown sisters face to face for the very first time.

“There came this time that she reached out to me and she said, ‘I want to be with you when you find out the results on election night.’ I was celebrating from the moment she walked through the door and I had won in every way. No matter what the results of the election was that night.”

Renee Swann

Despite the challenges facing society today, Swann remains hopeful things will turn around.

“I would love to tell you I’m an optimist and therefore see the positive in everything. I’m a realist... I understand that we face challenges and I understand all things are possible. I believe deeply in the one that created me and loves me, that saved me, and has set me on this path.”

“Everything that I have learned and everything that I am has brought to this particular time not because I am more special than anyone else, but because I have recognized the call and I will rise.”

For more information on Renee Swann’s campaign, click here.

There are a couple of things you need to know before casting your vote. If you voted in a party’s primary in March, you can only vote in that party’s runoff.

Early voting begins on June 29, and election day is July 14.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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