As the Republican challenger to the incumbent state representative, Matt Lockett’s campaign as a “true conservative” gained a lot of steam quickly.
“That’s what the people of Jessamine County want, and that’s what they have asked for,” Lockett said. “What I offer are not only conservative views but leadership with a style that can get things done.”
He said he is particularly honored to have garnered the endorsement of major organizations including the Kentucky Right to Life and the Kentucky Medical Association.
“It’s time for change in Frankfort, and I think some people have just been there too long, and I think a lot of people agree with me on that,” Lockett said. “I don’t think the people of Jessamine County are getting what they think they are in a ‘conservative.’”
Like his opponent, Lockett describes himself as a fiscal conservative, but he challenges state Rep. Bob Damron’s voting record as far as budget items and pro-life stances are concerned. Als, he is not 100 percent behind the construction of the U.S. 27 eastern bypass, or the I-75 connector.
“I think for economic reasons the I-75 connector is a good idea but I have some concerns with that; also some concerns with the eastern bypass, which goes right through my neighborhood,” Lockett said. “I don’t see a need for (another) bypass. But I can see the benefits of it down the road, just not now.”
Lockett said that he is worried that the bypass would lower property value in that area of Nicholasville and that the 20-year-old western bypass does not support evidence that it is busy enough to warrant a second bypass. Lockett also states that he does not see that the economic growth that was projected for the western bypass coming to fruition.
“If we’re going to do the eastern bypass, we do it right, and my opinion there too aligns with my view of the I-75 connector and at this point in time I just don’t see the dire need for it — I can see the advantages to it but I can also see the disadvantages to it,” he said. “We have a lot of budget issues in our state, and even though the funds have been allocated for the eastern bypass, I just don’t think we have the money to be building a bypass that’s not really needed.”
Instead of using those funds for that infrastructure, Lockett said he would focus those funds on the state’s debt.
“By our constitution we are required to have a balanced budget, which we don’t, we have lots of bonded debt,” Lockett said. “We have a huge unfunded pension liability, health care exchanges that we’re not sure how we’re going to pay for and we have a lot of things that are coming down the pipeline that we don’t have an idea how to pay for.”
Lockett said there are a lot of issues that the state faces and as a native Kentuckian, he is tired of being on the bottom of almost every national list.
“When it comes to education, when it comes to how the state is run, when it comes to budget, we are at bottom of those lists and have been for years,” he said. “If we’re ever going to get off that scale, off the bottom, we have to change our leadership. And I would say this to both sides of the aisle, but if you’ve been there for 20 years and you haven’t been a part of the solution then it’s time for you to go home because you are obviously a part of the problem.”