Your Vote Counts: District 17 candidate Kristen Alamo Rowin

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BRYAN, Tex (KBTX)- Kristen Alamo Rowin is one of 11 Republicans running to replace Representative Bill Flores as District 17’s Congressional Representative.

Rowin is a wife and mother of three boys, is from Waco, Texas. She obtained her real estate certificate before she graduated high school.

At the age of 25, she opened Alamo Real Estate. Since then, her and her husband have ventured into real estate brokerage as well as renovating and restoring properties.

Rowin participated in the Congressional Candidate Forum hosted by KBTX and KWTX on Jan. 25 held at Texas A&M University’s Rudder Theatre.

On the Issues:

Healthcare: Rowin supports a free-market healthcare solution as well as big pharma transparency.

"We need to open up the markets as we do in every other facet of our economy and allow competition to flourish the free-market," said Rowin at the Candidate Forum on Jan. 25.

Gun Control: Rowin believes requiring a license of someone who has legally purchased a firearm is unconstitutional. She believes it is a fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

Immigration: Rowin supports a wall being built at the southern border as well as limiting foreign aid to countries that support our ideals.

"What's necessary is to build a wall and have a wall system using technology," said Rowin.

KBTX has reached out with additional questions from viewers. Rowin’s answers are below.

Q: The unemployment rate in the United States sits at its lowest in a half-decade. Increasingly, employers are struggling to find quality candidates to fill skilled roles, especially trade workers. At the same time, the U.S. just ended its second-slowest decade for wage growth since the Great Depression. Compensation for hourly wage workers has remained flat since the seventies. What responsibility does the federal government have to make sure our jobs bubble doesn’t burst and is it time for a hike in the federal minimum wage

A: As a conservative, I believe the federal government’s role should always be minimal and staying with its appropriate duties outlined in founding documents. We’ve encouraged 4-year degrees for so long without advocating properly for trade and technical schools. We must take back the narrative and encourage students to find the path best for them, encouraging them to consider all options like technical schools. I am a product of a great concurrent college program in high school. I was able to walk the stage at my local community college 2 weeks prior to walking the stage at high school with my real estate certificate. This allowed me to begin my career as a Realtor at 18, then subsequently opening my own brokerage at the age of 25.

Q: Governor Abbot recently declined new refugee resettlement for the state of Texas. Do you agree? What specific steps would you propose that the US government could do to help refugees? –JL to KWTX

A: I support Governor Abbot’s decline of refugee resettlement. While we have a massive debt that is climbing, veterans waiting to receive quality healthcare, and American families worried about making ends meet burdened by taxes and regulations, we should consider getting our country on the right track before we can effectively help others. If the US crumbles, there is nowhere else to go. We are the last refuge. We must address our needs as a nation to ensure our future stability and that will allow us to better help the world.

Q: What is your position on immigrants already in the country who entered illegally? Should they be deported, given a pathway to citizenship, or something in between?

A: Illegal aliens who are criminals must be deported without exception. For those that are here, I support allowing status, so they are able to pay taxes and abide by our laws. I do not believe it is reasonable to say they could all be deported. With that reality, we must find ways that do not further incentivize illegal immigration.

Q: What is the US’s role in maintaining or creating peace in the Middle East? -Daniel Vines to KBTX

A: We are not the police of the world. We need to focus on our issues at home like our debt, border, and healthcare that affects Americans every day. If there is a direct threat to us, we should address it. If we are bound by agreements, we should honor them. But, we must start focusing on our issues at home.

Q: Recovery from the Great Recession has been slow, and fueled largely by consumer spending. How will you work to grow and diversify our economy while in Congress?

A: Rollback burdensome regulation and allow a business to thrive especially small business. I am a small business owner and I understand how important small businesses are to communities and our nation. Working on our infrastructure, especially in rural communities, to allow them to compete. What difference could high-speed internet, alone, play across our rural communities in our district?

Q: How do you feel about Texas Central’s proposed high-speed rail project and the potential use of the eminent domain to acquire land necessary for construction? -Paula Williams to KBTX

A: I have listened to people across our district and the resounding response I hear is no. They do not want the high-speed railway for many reasons. As a representative, I will listen to the desires of the people of this district.

Q: As US Representative, you will be called to serve on committees. Please name one of your committee preferences and explain what in your past experience would help you serve. –JL to KWTX

A: I would join the Small Business Committee because I am a small business owner and understand the struggles of every day, self-employed Americans. I would also be interested in joining the Appropriations Committee because I think they lack accountability and responsibility to what has been entrusted to them by the American people.

Q: Name one thing you respect about another candidate onstage.

A: I respect Todd Kent’s intellect.

Q: What’s one word you use to describe yourself?

A: Steadfast

Q: Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level? -Diektrich Morgan to KBTX

A: No

For more information on Rowin’s campaign visit the Related Links section on this story.