Lack­awanna County com­mis­sioner still in ‘shock’ over shoutout from the pres­i­dent

White House reached out to county com­mis­sioner be­fore Penn­syl­va­nia speech.

The Times-Tribune - - Front Page - BY JEFF HOR­VATH STAFF WRITER

For Lack­awanna County Com­mis­sioner Lau­reen Cum­mings, what cul­mi­nated Wed­nes­day in a shoutout from the world’s most pow­er­ful man be­gan with a phone call from an un­usual place.

“On Satur­day, I re­ceived a call from the White House,

and the girl that called said ... the

pres­i­dent had heard­story and about was my very per­sonal in­ter­ested in re­lay­ing that story some­how to the pub­lic,” Cum­mings said Thurs­day, the day af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump did just that in a speech on tax re­form he de­liv­ered in Mid­dle­town, near Har­ris­burg.

“With us to­day is Lau­reen Cum­mings, a mother of four who owns a small staffing com­pany that pro­vides pri­vate nurs­ing ser­vices and ath­ome care,” Trump said, shoot­ing a thumbs-up in Cum­mings’ di­rec­tion. “Lau­reen says that if Con­gress passes tax re­lief and re­form, she will be able to cre­ate more high-pay­ing jobs for health care work­ers in the Scran­ton area.”

Cum­mings, who at­tended the speech with her son and lis­tened from a re­served seat near the stage, said she’d re­cently shared her story — that of a sin­gle mother turned small-busi­ness owner — dur­ing a lead­er­ship meet­ing at the Re­pub­li­can Party of Lack­awanna County’s head­quar­ters in Scran­ton. From there, her story was re­layed to of­fi­cials with the state Re­pub­li­can Com­mit­tee and, ul­ti­mately, to the White House, Cum­mings said.

“I’m still in shock, to be hon­est with you,” Cum­mings said. “I couldn’t be­lieve that the pres­i­dent of the United States just men­tioned my name in an ad­dress to the pub­lic.”

As the owner of Lori­mar Home Care & Staffing Ser­vices, an Old Forge-based busi­ness that em­ploys about 10 peo­ple and sched­ules pri­vate, in-home vis­its with nurs­ing staff, Cum­mings is con­fi­dent Trump’s tax plan will amount to tax cuts for both em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers, al­low­ing busi­nesses to cre­ate jobs.

“The less money we are pay­ing to the govern­ment, the more we are putting into in­creas­ing our busi­nesses, and in the ser­vice in­dus­try that means peo­ple,” she said.

While Cum­mings didn’t get the chance to meet the pres­i­dent Wed­nes­day, she said she ap­pre­ci­ates how he

uses per­sonal sto­ries of real peo­ple to pitch pro­posed pol­icy — pair­ing the mes­sage of tax re­lief with in­di­vid­ual ex­am­ples of those who would ben­e­fit from it.

Be­ing rec­og­nized by the pres­i­dent, she said, is an honor.

“I’m just a small-busi­ness owner from Old Forge, Pa.,” Cum­mings said. “It’s an honor. It’s def­i­nitely an honor, but I al­ways tell peo­ple I do the best I can to fol­low what God’s plan is for me, but mir­a­cles do hap­pen ap­par­ently, and that was one that I think is a mir­a­cle. I’m very hon­ored and grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity, and I hope more peo­ple get to be heard like that as well.” Con­tact the writer: jhor­vath@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhor­vathTT on Twit­ter

‘I’m still in shock, to be hon­est with you. I couldn’t be­lieve that the pres­i­dent of the United States just men­tioned my name in an ad­dress.’ Lau­reen Cum­mings, Lack­awanna County com­mis­sioner

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