(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series about the candidates in the May 22 Republican primary for 36th District state representative. A profile of the other candidate in the race, Jonathan Shell, will appear in Thursday’s Register.)
Republican candidate for state representative Nathan Mick says he is ready to “hit the ground running” if elected.
Long-time Republican incumbent Lonnie Napier, who is retiring from the seat, has endorsed Mick as his replacement.
Mick, 34, lives in Lancaster with his wife, Maggie, and has served as Garrard County’s economic development director for almost five years.
He previously served as director of constituent affairs and deputy chief of staff for former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska.
Mick is a graduate of Centre College where he studied history. He received his master’s degree in national security and strategic duties at the U.S. Naval War College.
“I decided to run because I believe that some of the biggest issues facing Kentucky and our district are jobs and economic growth,” he said. “With my background in economic development and creating jobs, I feel I could use my experience to move our district forward. I also realize that this job requires experience and helping people.”
“I’m for random drug testing for those receiving welfare subsidies,” he said. “This is a high priority. I’m a strong conservative Republican. I believe that our country was founded on Christian beliefs, and we should hold dear to those values.”
Mick said he is the only candidate in the race endorsed by the Kentucky Right to Life Organization, and is a lifetime member of the National Rife Association with an “A” rating.
In addition to Napier, Mick said he is endorsed by Garrard County Judge/ Executive John Wilson.
Although Mick stands firmly by his conservative beliefs, he said he realizes there needs to be a working relationship between both political parties.
“You have to be able to be reasonable and have dialogue with everyone about the options, and help find solutions,” he said. “But, I would bring the voice of the conservative Republicans to the table. But, you do have to be able to work together.”
Mick voiced his disappointment with this year’s legislative session.
“Not much was accomplished,” he said. “They had to have a special session that cost taxpayers money. If that was a normal job, and you didn’t get the job done the first time, you wouldn’t be able to give it another go and be rewarded.”
Mick he will use his background in national security to help protect the chemical weapon stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
“It is of extreme importance to make sure that national security is consistently monitored here and that we have a plan for protecting our assets here,” he said.
Economic development based on the Blue Grass Army Depot, especially after the demilitarization of the chemical weapons stockpile, is a priority for Mick.
“That facility and land will need to be repurposed,” he said. “We need to make sure those jobs are replaced.”
“There’s a spending problem in Frankfort,” he said. “We need to address wasteful spending. Frankfort is spending more than what it is taking in and running up credit for the future (residents) to pay.”
Mick wants to examine the state’s budget carefully “and see where waste and abuse in the system can be eliminated,” he said.
“We need to do an audit of the entire budget and look at where we can eliminate some redundancy. One component of the budget I can ensure we’re going to maintain is education. I believe education goes hand in hand with trying to recruit jobs.”
In his position as Garrard County’s economic development director, Mick often is asked by potential industries about the county’s potential work force and what priorities are placed on education.
“I believe that education is a necessary investment if you’re going to have long-range economic success in Kentucky.”
To date, Mick has raised $43,700 for his campaign. Among his donors are Napier and former state Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond.
Visit www.kref.state. ky.us/krefsearch for a detailed list of financial contributors.
More can be learned about Mick at nathanmick.com, and he can be reached by calling (859) 339-1414.
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