GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. — The race for the representative seat in the 98th District is on, with Lewis Nicholls-D, and Dr. Dan Bentley-R.
Nicholls defeated his opponent Tony Quillen-R, in March of 2016, to serve the remainder of Tanya Pullin’s term.
When asked what inspired him to run for the Representative of the 98th District seat, Bentley told The Daily Times it’s several things.
“I am trying to put God and family back in the House at Frankfort, so I have an individual calling,” Bentley said. “Second, I want to put some Kentucky values back in Frankfort over the Obama values.”
Bentley said the Kentucky values are community service and excellence in education.
“My wife Cheri of 43 years, I met at Eastern Kentucky University, and she is a pharmacist also. I graduated from University of Kentucky in 1973 with my bachelor degree and I went back to school at the age of 36 and got my doctorate from UK in 1990,” Bentley said. “The values also consist of unleashing the unbridled spirit that we talk about in Kentucky, of individualism. Thirdly, I have 43 years of experience as a pharmacist, and started my own pharmacy in 1991. I am an educator, and have taught at Ohio University Southern Campus here in Ironton, Ohio, in the Health Sciences for 25 years. I have been president of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, and have been on the Bellefonte hospital board, they retired me because I served on there for nine years, so I have expertise in the health care field, and health care is the number one concern for Kentuckians, and I have the expertise where I can help them.”
Bentley’s background and experience in medicine has allowed him to experience first hand the daily struggles of students and people in general.
“I am an outgoing, personable type of person, and working in the field of medicine for 43 years. I have probably been down in the trenches with the common people more,” Bentley said. “I own my own business, so I know that it is harder to sign the front of a check than it is the back some time. Sometimes I did not pay myself, but I made sure that my employees were paid. I put people to work, so I understand paying taxes, and writing payroll checks. I understand doing Social Security and Medical Care, and taking it out of their checks and how the business has to match that. I understand teaching young people in school because I have been a college instructor and I see their struggle in the education system. I have seen people struggle paying for their prescription.”
Nicholls is married to Barbara Nicholls, and has a son Mark Nicholls, and daughter Rebecca Nicholls Flynn. Nicholls and his wife Barbara are the grandparents of five grandsons. When asked why he is running for the 98th District seat, Nicholls told The Daily Times it is a conglomeration of training, education, and experience.
“I am running because I have the training, education and experience to make the contribution to the Commonwealth in the 98 District,” Nicholls said. “I think that with my background in law that I am well-suited, and able to help the people in the 98th and I have a lot of time to donate to it now that I am retired.”
Nicholls is fueled by his concern about the present state of the economy.
“First thing is our economy. Our economy is really in trouble here in northeastern Kentucky, with the shut down of AK Steel, we hope temporarily,” Nicholls said. “I had an opportunity to work with the president of Ashland Technical and Community College in conjunction with the people from TIMCO to help get almost 200 employees from AK Steel into what’s called a TAA Program and that is so they can go back to school. I feel good that I was able to help them do that. Also, the economy is inundated with drugs, particularly heroin right now is the drug of choice, laced with fetanyl, and it is killing our citizens at the rate of about four per day in the Commonwealth. With my training and experience in the drug court I am uniquely suited to come up with some legislation that I think will help that situation, and I already have a bill in the works that I am working on now.”
Nicholls and Bentley will face each other in the November 8th General Election in Kentucky.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.