By Chelene Nightingale
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
If you ask anyone who has met Mike Harmon their opinion of him, the reply is always, “He is a very nice man.” The gubernatorial candidate is one of 12 republicans vying for the state’s highest office. Currently, Harmon is finishing his second term as the Kentucky State Auditor.
Recently, the Barren County Progress met with Harmon at the Jobe Publishing, Inc. (JPI) office on the Public Square in Glasgow before attending a Barren County Special Fiscal Court Session. First, JPI mentioned the nice compliments Harmon receives from people who know him, but they continue, “He won’t win.” Without skipping a beat and with a smile on his face, he replied, “I have the most experience in public office over all the other candidates. Before serving as auditor for the past 7 years, I spent 13 years as a representative in the 54th district. As a state representative, I was always voted either the most conservative or second most conservative throughout my entire service.”
Harmon added, “No one thought I could win the state auditor office either, but I was the first Republican to beat a democrat for this office since 1967.”
Harmon sets his priorities as a Christian, husband, father, and grandfather who wants Kentucky to be a state in which families feel safe. His mission statement on his campaign website www.mikeharmon.com reads, “I have no desire to leave a legacy, except, that I served my Lord, that I served my family, and that I served my country, well.”
As a Christian conservative, Harmon was disappointed in Beshear’s shutdown of churches. “We need to remind voters in November that Governor Beshear sent a police force to churches, intimidating people of faith, and writing down license plates. He violated the first amendment. We cannot allow this to happen again. We must advocate freedom over fear.” Harmon describes himself as a Christian conservative dedicated to returning constitutional leadership to the governor’s office. “As governor, I will end unconstitutional mandates which hurt Kentucky small businesses and families.”
Harmon also believes the shutdown hurt children’s education, which recent bi-partisan statistics prove to be true. The governor candidate strongly believes children need to be at the top of the education system while empowering parents with school choice options.
“We need to let parents make the decisions for their own children,” he continued, “The stats show a level of satisfaction goes up when parents, not government, make the decision,” Harmon suggested he would support signing an education reform bill like Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed recently in Arkansas. Although the bill raises teacher salaries, it restricts indoctrination of CRT and other controversial subjects. He declared, “We need to get back to the 3 R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic.”
He also discussed alternative classes for high school students to prepare them for trade jobs. “It’s hard to find plumbers and electricians today. Most students are trained to believe they need to go to college; however, only 28% of employment requires a degree. But 56% of the labor are trade jobs.”
Unfortunately, in the state of Kentucky, labor participation is low and the hopeful candidate stated we need to create incentives to get people back to work. One of his ideas is to implement a sliding scale with Medicaid and unemployment benefits.
He explained, “A tier system to gradually help the person go from public assistance into the private sector would be better than total dependency; then suddenly a cliff for them to fall off and go deeper into poverty.” Harmon believes the current ‘cliff cycle’ deters Kentuckians from leaving government assistance and going back to work.
JPI and Harmon also discussed supporting farmers in the Bluegrass state. He said he had some history of farm life from his parents and grandparents who had small homesteads. The gubernatorial candidate shared that Kentucky had an opportunity to add more beef processing plants approved by the USDA, but Governor Beshear waited too late and missed the opportunity. If elected governor, the current state auditor would enter discussions with the USDA again. “We need local processing plants so our farmers can make more money.” He also believed an industrial hemp industry in Kentucky would be beneficial if localized.
After briefly discussing hemp, JPI asked Harmon his solutions for combating the fentanyl crisis in the state. He proposed a three-prong system in which first, he would demand the Biden administration secure our country’s border. If the Biden administration did not comply, as governor, Harmon would file a lawsuit against the federal government. Second, he would increase penalties for drug dealers matching the equivalent of attempted murder or murder in cases of fatal overdoses. Third, he would implement programs to dry up the demand. “Addicts need treatment,” Harmon declared. He said that his wife helped in a Christian rehabilitation facility and the two of them had seen successes. “If you heal people of their addictions, provide them hope, give them opportunities, they will not have the time or need to abuse dangerous substances.”
JPI and Harmon also discussed China’s role in the drug and border crisis in America. Harmon stated, “I do not support eminent domain; however, I would consider it for any property China owns in Kentucky. I would prohibit China from buying our property. It’s our constitutional duty to protect Kentuckians.”
Before the end of the interview, Mr. Harmon handed JPI a campaign handout that provides key points of his campaign. The points include, “Defend Our Right to Bear Arms, Safeguard Innocent Unborn Life, Stand with Our Small Business, Work to Eliminate State Income Tax, and Fully Fund Our Law Enforcement.”
JPI asked Mr. Harmon for any final words he wanted our readers to know. He replied, “We need to, as a state, get back to God first.”