With three Republicans running for the nomination for the 32nd District state Senate seat, Ed Mills said he can distinguish himself from the other candidates.
“If you want the same old thing, then vote for Regina (Webb) or Mike (Wilson),” Mills said. “But if you want a creative, fresh business person, vote for Ed Mills.”
Mills said in his 30 years of working at General Motors and then in the family business Hitcents, a custom technology and software development company, he has developed a mathematical approach to solving business problems that he can apply to state government.
He would use that mathematical approach to figure out how to eliminate the state’s income tax, which Mills said is overly complicated. The elimination of such a tax, he said, could entice business to the state and create jobs. State revenue wouldn’t necessarily decline because people would have more money to spend, meaning the collection of more sales tax.
“Kentucky is perfectly located geographically, within a day’s drive of (a significant portion) of the United States,” he said. “There is no reason why we can’t create more jobs here.”
Mills proposes to work with local chambers of commerce to bring about changes in laws and incentives they need to bring new business to Kentucky. He wants to see the state invest in its infrastructure and to keep pace with changing technology.
As for why run for office now, Mills said he reached a point in his life that he could.
“I’m at a time where I am able to do something to help my community,” he said. “I really want to serve to help make this state be as great as it can be.”
Mills said the state’s economy is falling apart.
“I refuse to stand by and let that happen. Kentucky is struggling and our way of life is at risk,” he said in an e-mail. “Our children are not properly educated compared to world rankings. The government in Frankfort … can’t see past its differences to save our state. I love Kentucky too much to let it fail.
“It’s time we have a person with business experience to run government - someone who knows what it takes to meet payroll on a daily basis,” he said.
Mills said he isn’t looking to become a career politician.
“I tell people I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m not part of the mainstream … who may be in it for life. I’d like to do it for four years and see if I can make a difference.”
Mills said if he can be part of change, then he might stay longer, but if he can’t be effective at change, he would not stay.
Mills said he has done a lot of surveying of the people he speaks with, more than 1,500 in Warren and Butler counties.
“While (observers) think residents’ number one issue would be creating jobs, it’s not,” he said. “Thirty-nine percent of the people said they wanted less government. Creating jobs came in second and the economy came in third. Surprisingly, access to education came in on down the list.”
But that doesn’t mean that Mills thinks education is a low priority.
After opening a campaign headquarters in Morgantown and meeting with more people there, Mills said he has found a great need for more technology in education.
“I’m hearing that kids only get on the computer one hour a week,” he said. “We need to help them get the tools that they need.”
Mills said he also plans to be an advocate for Western Kentucky University, which gave his sons, who started Hitcents, entrepreneurial scholarships.
“WKU is very near and dear to me for what it did for my sons and their business,” he said. “Once I get in office, I will fight every day to help (WKU) in their mission.”