A local interior designer and former schoolteacher, Republican Milou Mackenzie of Lower Saucon Township announced Wednesday that she is seeking to represent the 131st legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
The seat is currently held by Justin Simmons (R), who announced last month that he would not be seeking re-election to a sixth term in office.
“With the retirement of Rep. Simmons, it is important that our community elect someone dedicated to protecting taxpayers while addressing the challenges our state faces in a commonsense manner,” Mackenzie said in a campaign news release. “I will bring a lifetime of professional and personal experiences to the state House to ensure the concerns of Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton County residents are heard loud and clear.”
A former Lehigh County Republican Committee member, according to her biography, Mackenzie said she has owned and operated V.M. Mackenzie Interior Design, LLC, for nearly four decades. The business formerly had a location on Main Street in Hellertown.
“As a businessperson, I have seen firsthand how government can help, or hurt, job creators and our economy. I have also dealt with the challenges of running a business, from creating budgets to dealing with rising costs and more,” she said. “This experience in the real world will help me ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently, and that government acts as a partner with the private sector in driving the economic and job growth opportunities our families deserve.”
Mackenzie also said fiscal conservatism will be “a cornerstone of her service” should she win election to the House, along with efforts to eliminate school property taxes.
Although she began her professional life as a teacher in both public and private schools, Mackenzie said in the news release that “providing education while respecting taxpayers” was and remains a top priority for her.
Mackenzie said she taught in the Nazareth Area and Whitehall-Coplay school districts, and substitute taught at the Swain School in Allentown.
“As State Representative, I want to use my firsthand knowledge from the classroom to invest the right way in our schools while still protecting the rights of taxpayers,” she said. “We can do this by making sure tax dollars are focused on the classroom, reducing standardized testing, and giving parents, taxpayers and teachers a greater say in curriculum and the operation of our schools.”
A Nazareth native and Cedar Crest College graduate, Mackenzie was a Lehigh County resident for 35 years before moving to Lower Saucon Township 12 years ago, according to her biography.
In addition to her husband Kevin Brown, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and veteran, the news release noted that Mackenzie is the mother of two sons and has two grandchildren.
One of Mackenzie’s sons is State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R), who currently represents the 134th district in the state House of Representatives.
“Public service runs very deep in our family,” she told Saucon Source. “I’ve always been very interested in good government.”
The 134 legislative district includes parts of Lehigh and Berks counties and borders the 131st district, which consists of Salisbury Township (part), Lower Milford, Upper Milford and Upper Saucon townships and Coopersburg and Emmaus boroughs in Lehigh County; Upper Hanover Township and East Greenville, Pennsburg and Red Hill boroughs in Montgomery County; and Lower Saucon Township (part) in Northampton County.
Joining Mackenzie in the Republican primary election this spring are two other individuals who recently announced their respective candidacies: Lehigh County commissioner Nathan Brown and Pennsburg mayor Vicki Lightcap.