Meet Two Montgomery County Republicans
MEETING MATT JOHNSON
One of our youngest committee members, Matt, is 20 years old. He was born and lives in Silver Spring. Matt attended St. John the Evangelist, a Catholic elementary school, and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. Living near the Metro station was a big advantage making his travel around the city much easier. He loves being a city boy as he describes himself.
Matt's passion for politics grew from a young age. Growing up in a non-partisan yet politically divided family, Matt was exposed to politics early on. At the age of 8, he watched his first Presidential debate when President Obama ran for President back in 2008. More of Matt’s political appetite was whetted when he was in high school and became a member of his high school Republican Club. Exposure to the Young Americans for Freedom was also a big influence in developing his conservatism.
One of Matt’s most memorable experiences was being a Senate Paige during the first year of the Trump Administration. He was working on the floor of the Senate when, under the leadership of President Trump, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed. Witnessing the passage of that law and the workings of the greatest deliberative body imparted on Matt a deep appreciation for the American system of government and solidified his conservative identity.
The most exciting event Matt recounted was when that bill was sent to the House for signing, then returned to the Senate. The bill was to be signed there by Senator Orrin Hatch, the then President Pro Tempore of the Senate and senior Senator from Utah. The signature line, however, said "Vice President" since historically, the Vice President, as president of the Senate, used to sign all bills. The Senate parliamentarian asked Matt to scratch that out, and write in “President Pro Temper” where Hatch would later sign. He has a photo of the event, but wasn’t given a pen. Not many other people have the opportunity to edit a bill about to be signed into law!
Matt attends the University of Maryland, majoring in Government and Politics and Finance. He is not shy about voicing his opinion in class which is not an easy thing to do at a left-leaning University these days. Due to the Covid virus, he is living back at home, and looking forward to moving into his own place once the county opens up again.
He currently has no pets, but used to have a cat, and would like to have another one or a puppy some time. A former Boy Scout, Matt achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He enjoys backpacking, and may, with a buddy, attempt part of the Appalachian Trail during spring break. He has taken piano lessons since the age of ten, and plays classical piano as well as boogie woogie and blues!
Building up the base of the newsletter and developing a good fundraising letter are current goals.
When starting this interview, Matt said he didn’t really have much to say. Sorry to disagree, Matt, but you’ve had a really interesting life so far. There are a lot of great things in your future.
MEETING DOLORES REYES
Need a lift, and some great ideas? Get together with Dolores Reyes!
Since the age of 16, Dolores has been an energetic Republican. Originally from Philadelphia, she attended college in Ohio. At the University of Dayton in Ohio, she was elected Vice President of the Student Government during her senior year. She was the President of the Campus College Republicans. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, also Kamala Harris’ sorority. Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) is the first black Sorority in the U.S.
In the mid-’80’s Dolores came to Virginia. She later relocated to Silver Spring, Maryland where she currently resides. She served in the second term of the Ronald Reagan administration. Dolores has two sisters that live in the area and had a brother that is sadly deceased. Dolores’ husband is from El Salvador and they have been married for over 28 years.
Dolores is a former small business government contractor. She is an entrepreneur and has an Airbnb and rental properties. Her interest in international students allows her to host young people from Korea, Canada, China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and France.
Dolores greatly enjoys live theater, so this is a perfect place for her with a large number of thriving theater and entertainment venues in the area. Classical, operatic, and show music are some of her favorites.
In her “spare” time Dolores is on the executive committee of the Maryland Black Republican Council. She is a member of the Potomac Republican Women’s Club and a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee. She is the former member and founder of the Small Business Action Network. With the help of Joe Gillem, Sandy Tuttle, Ellen Paul, Lori Jaffee, Joan Pliemen, Mary Fairbanks, and other Republicans, the organization hosted dinner and activity day for children and their families at The Children’s Inn at NIH. The Children’s Inn at NIH is a hospital for children suffering from cancer and other health issues that require special treatment.
Dolores is devoted to the outreach efforts of the GOP, and optimistic about the future and the need to take action. Podcasts, she feels, are an excellent way to inform people and lead them to become more outspoken and active in the community.
If this doesn’t leave you breathless yet, wait until you meet Whirlwind Dolores!
Karol Smith is a writer, former candidate, organizer of GOP Asbury and member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.