SYRACUSE — A sea of orange shirts pulsed through The Back Porch restaurant at The Oakwood Inn Tuesday night.
The orange was a show of support for Curt Nisly. It also served as caution to establishment Republicans in one of the reddest states in the union: Your seat is not safe.
Two-term District 22 state Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, Syracuse, fell to political newcomer Nisly of Goshen, in Tuesday’s Republican primary. Nisly mounted a massive door-to-door campaign to introduce himself to voters and get his message of limited government and local control out.
“The number one issue for voters I talked to was the marriage amendment,” Nisly said after The Associated Press reported he defeated Kubacki. “That and guns, the Second Amendment. I had people say they would vote for me because they felt I would protect their Second Amendment rights.”
Kubacki conceded that her campaign was hurt by things like the marriage amendment as well as her vote not to halt Common Core. But she also pointed to conservative activist Eric Miller and his mission to “rile everyone up” as part of what ultimately led to her defeat.
“But I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” said Kubacki in a phone interview Tuesday night. Kubacki was traveling to Indianapolis for a board meeting with Riley’s Hospital For Children. “I was able to get the governor to sign four bills of mine this year. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the way I served. I feel I served with principle.”
The race, as contentious as any for a state representative contest, draws to a close with Nisly garnering approximately 65 percent of the vote.
Opinion pages not only in The Goshen News but other regional publications were overrun with letters to the editor both in support and in condemnation of the two candidates. Third-party mailers attacked Kubacki for her vote against a marriage amendment referendum and support of day care reform while Nisly was called a secessionist in another.