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Join State Sen. Chris Cournoyer in supporting Nikki Haley

State Sen. Chris Cournoyer endorsed Nikki Haley! Learn more, and join her in supporting Nikki Haley at your caucus!

LeClaire state senator endorses Nikki Haley ahead of Iowa caucuses

Quad-City Times

State Sen. Chris Cournoyer, a Republican from LeClaire, sees parallels between herself and Nikki Haley.

Both women graduated with degrees unrelated to politics, Cournoyer’s in computer science and Haley’s in accounting. Neither set out with ambitions for public office. Both helped with family businesses, ran for office with young children at home and served in state legislatures.

Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor, is running for the Republican presidential nomination, and Cournoyer has emerged as an early supporter of Haley ahead of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Cournoyer introduced Haley during a May event at the Dahl Old Car Home in Davenport, and has appeared with her at eastern Iowa events since as early as October 2020, when they supported Mariannette Miller-Meeks for Congress.

Cournoyer said she had been following Haley since her time in the South Carolina Legislature and was “very impressed” with how Haley handled crises as governor and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She bought Haley’s book, met her at a speaking engagement several years ago in Des Moines and decided to back her earlier this spring.

“I’ve made a point to go and listen to what she has to say and her message, and her life story of working in a family business, getting a degree in accounting and never really having a political ambition, to really seeing that there’s an issue and stepping into a position where she can actually do something about it,” Cournoyer said. “I think it just really resonated with me.”

Cournoyer first ran for school board in 2013, prompted she said, by the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, where a gunman killed 20 children and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school.

“My twin boys were in first grade at the time,” Cournoyer said. “It freaked me out. It really affected me, I guess I should say, and I didn’t even know who my school board member was.”

“I was president of the PTA, but I didn’t know who my school board member was,” Cournoyer added.

“And I called him to see what we were doing to protect our kids at school because at the time at Cody Elementary School, the front door was unlocked, and you walked right in.”

But he didn’t return her phone calls, she said. Unsatisfied, she ran for the school board and won.
Cournoyer said she was particularly impressed with Haley’s efforts to end a widespread practice of doing voice votes in the South Carolina Legislature and instead record how each lawmakers voted on a piece of legislation, going against her own party at the time.

“I think she really did that with strong leadership and compassion and empathy and, really dealing with very challenging situations with measured grace,” Cournoyer said. “And that can be very difficult to lead through some of those especially emotional issues.”

State Sen. Chris Cournoyer



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