Curt Nisly is the three-term Republican incumbent in Indiana House District 22. He is being challenged by Democrat Kelly Thompson.
Nisly, 48, lives in Milford with his wife, Mary. They have been married 25 years and are parents of four children. He is owner and president of C-Tech Solutions Inc.
Thompson, 55, is from North Webster. She has not held a political office previously. She earned a bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 36 years and are parents of six adult children. She is a small business owner and founder of a non-profit. She has also been a tutor and substitute teacher.
What are your qualifications, as well as life and work experiences, that will help you perform your duties as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives?
NISLY: First elected as state representative in 2014 and have been reelected every other year since then.
THOMPSON: I have a degree in business administration, and I am a small business owner for over 25 years. I am a community service non-profit founder and have training in counseling and conflict resolution. While these achievements and learned skills will be valuable in Indianapolis, it’s my experience that will serve me and the people of District 22 in the most effective ways. I have had the honor of walking alongside local families in times of struggle and crisis. Those experiences are what give me the courage and conviction to work hard every day for Hoosiers. The issues that I will address are all linked to the faces and names of my neighbors.
What has the COVID-19 pandemic revealed to you about the laws and structure of state government? Are there any changes you will be asking for during the next General Assembly?
THOMPSON: This pandemic and the federal response has revealed to all of us the importance of state and local government. The national elections get all the press, but the down ballot candidates actually affect our day-to-day lives the most. We need leaders who are brave. To stand up to federal political pressure. We need leaders who know when to listen to those more expert than we. There is nothing weak about saying, “I don’t know. Let’s find some people who do and listen to them.” Part of the job of effective leaders is being willing to admit when we need help, receive it, and to commit to communicating effectively the decisions that must be made in the best interest of all.
NISLY: The Indiana Constitution is clear that the Legislature is responsible for making laws in Indiana. The governor has a duty to faithfully execute those laws, and call a special session when the public welfare shall require it.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you see as the state’s biggest issue that the Indiana House can help resolve?
NISLY: 1. Secure the right to live for the unborn; 2. Secure the right to keep and bear arms.
THOMPSON: Indiana has a few really big issues that must be addressed. It is hard to pick one. We must pay our teachers more. Full stop. We have only increased their responsibilities, while ignoring their pleas for help. We must reduce our infant and maternal mortality rate. Indiana spends less than half the national average of public health education and programs, even though the ROI on public health spending is $4.5:1. We must answer the desperate need for quality early childhood education. We have lost sight of our most precious resource: our kids.
Please tell the voters what initiatives you would undertake in 2021 as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives.
THOMPSON: I would do a few things. I would increase teacher pay. I would incentivize business to invest in early childhood education and expand Head Start. I would fight for tax incentives for builders and developers who would commit to providing affordable housing. I would increase public health spending in order to reduce the number of low birthweight babies in this state. I would reintroduce a form of HB 1141, making birth control over-the-counter in Indiana. How can we afford this? Every proposal I am making has a sizable ROI. The truth is we cannot afford not to do these things.
NISLY: Eliminate the emergency powers of the executive branch.