By Lauren Zeugner
MILFORD — Three candidates are running to represent House District 22 in the state legislature. House District 22 covers portions of Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties.
Republican incumbent Curt Nisly is seeking a fourth term as House Representative. He is being challenged in the primary by Bill Dixon.
Kelly Thompson, of North Webster, is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination and is unopposed.
The Mail-Journal asked the incumbent and his challenger the following questions:
What position on issues differentiates you from your opponent?
Nisly: “My service in the Indiana Legislature reflects our campaign slogan, ‘Free People Limit Government.’ Life is the ultimate right of the people. I will continue to advocate for making abortion illegal.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms is non-negotiable. I have been recognized as a champion on this front by all three major pro-gun national organizations, the National Rifle Association, the National Association of Gun Rights and Gun Owners of America.
“Education should be controlled by locals, not the state or federal governments.
“The state should live within its means with no tax increases.
“People must be empowered to make their own decisions regarding their health.”
Dixon: “There are a number of issues upon which my opponent and I differ. I support veterans; my opponent was one of three members of the House who voted to tax veteran’s benefits (2019 House Bill 1010, votes No. 53 and No. 586). I support school safety; my opponent was the only member of the House who voted against school safety (2019 House Bill 1004, vote No. 598). I support increased state inspection of dams; my opponent has said nothing. The primary thing my opponent supports is obstruction. He has made an enemy out of other legislators. I support collaboration and cooperation.”
How would you like to see the state handle its reopening after the shutdown?
Nisly: “The threat of COVID-19 is not to be taken lightly. People should weigh their personal risks, especially if they have no other conditions or compromised immune systems. People with less risk should be aware and take appropriate action to protest those with higher risk.
“Indiana’s Constitution states that ‘No law shall restrain any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good… .
“By violating this provision, our state government has created a mess of nearly every system in Indiana. The sooner we can get government out of the way and allow people to make choices for themselves, the better off we all will be.”
Dixon: “The reopening needs to follow President Trump’s guidelines. Each time 14 days of fewer hospitalizations elapses, we reopen a little more. I would allow any business that does not have more than 10 employees and does not have a live public-facing presence to reopen immediately with social distancing. A non-exhaustive list might include businesses like agriculture, small manufacturers, residential construction, wholesalers and many internet-only businesses. We should be grateful for those who have remained at work, especially health care workers, during this crisis. We need a protected domestic supply chain for their supplies.”
Thompson is a graduate of Tippecanoe Valley High School and received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Central Florida University. She and her husband, Michael, started Whitewater Community Service which is funded by The River Coffee House through donations.
In a phone interview she said “I believe I would be good at this job … I am acutely aware of the struggles of Hoosier families, and my training in counseling families to communicate in effective peaceful ways will translate well to collaboration and cooperation in the Statehouse.”
She and her husband have six grown children, five of whom live in the district, and five grandchildren with a sixth on the way.