By Todd Martin
Landmark news service
Gary “Tony” McCurdy says he’s tired of Kentucky’s lawmakers looking at the small picture and wants to see a more proactive approach.
That led him to run against Ben Chandler in the 6th District U.S. Congress race in 2008.
“There wasn’t a Republican running against him, and I knew he could be beaten,” he said. “So I decided to run.”
Although he lost by about 3 percent to Jon Larson, McCurdy, a conservative Republican, did get the itch to serve.
“It takes a lot out of you, running in an election like that,” he said. “But I think the twentieth district is just the right size for me.”
McCurdy has filed papers to run against incumbent state Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) for the seat that is now comprised of Carroll, Henry, Shelby and Trimble counties with a small portion of the east end of Jefferson County.
“I know it’s frowned upon to run in a primary where the incumbent is unopposed [by a Democrat],” he said. “But, really, I feel like I’m in a better position to help.”
McCurdy lives on Mink Run Road in Shelby County, with his wife, Sharon. They have two children, Matthew and Summer.
He owns Millennium Midwest, an electronic security firm, and has been a business owner since 1995.
“I know how to budget and plan for the future,” he said. “And I think its time for a new generation to come in with fresh ideas. And ones that are willing to take on the tough issues.”
McCurdy pointed to the state’s looming financial problems as one of the most important issues facing not only this year’s budget but those in coming years as well.
“With at least three hundred million in costs coming in the next few years from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, plus the one hundred and twenty million we’re behind on our pension, that’s almost a half of a billion dollars that we need to find funding for,” he said. “Now, Paul [Hornback] is pushing this telecommunications bill, and that’s nice and all, but where are the jobs?”
Instead, McCurdy said he believes the state needs to be backing more expansion and growth in the coal industry.
“Kentucky needs to be proactive and fight for what we have, and what we have is energy,” he said.
He also noted that a stronger legislature might have been able to stand up to Gov. Steve Beshear’s implementation of the ACA.
“What we need is leadership in Frankfort that will stand up and say, ‘Hold on a minute. What’s this [ACA] going to do to us long term?’ If that had been done, we might not be in this spot right now, looking forward to about three hundred million in expenses.”
What McCurdy wants is for voters to look for change and, with that, give him a chance.
“If I’m lucky enough to get elected, I will promise that I’m going to look at the big issues,” he said. “And if people don’t like what I’m doing and my approach, then they can replace me in the next election.
“The issues we have can be fixed,” he said. “But it’s going to take some time and someone who’s willing to look forward to the future, and see Kentucky’s long term potential.”