Won (52% – 44%)
Growing up in a small, rural town, Matt was the second of six children and was raised to appreciate the importance of strong values and hard work.
His family of eight lived in an old farmhouse with three bedrooms and one bathroom. The home was heated only by day with two small wood stoves, and they raised a variety of animals for meat, milk and eggs. They grew most of what they ate each year on their own land.
“It’s character-building,” was a phrase Matt’s father, a factory worker, often used to describe the difficult work and chores that frequently come with farm life.
After high school, Matt attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia with a four-year ROTC scholarship. He also worked 20-25 hours each week in the dining hall and working security at campus events to earn extra money.
Upon graduation in 1989, Matt was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain. He spent four years on active duty with primary responsibilities as the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division Artillery’s counterfire officer.
After his military service, Matt worked for many years in the financial industry. In early 1999, a job opportunity with National Asset Management brought Matt and his wife, Glenna, to Kentucky, where they decided to put down roots and raise their family. Their oldest daughter was two months old at the time. Over the next 15 years, Matt founded several local firms and invested in a number of other companies in Kentucky and around the United States. These companies range from manufacturing to investment management to medical devices. They employ dozens of people and annually provide millions of dollars in payroll and benefits to hard working Americans.
Matt met his wife Glenna in 1990 while on active duty at Ft. Polk in Louisiana. She was a registered nurse (RN) working at a civilian hospital near where Matt was stationed. They were married in 1996.
In the years since then, they have been blessed with a “full quiver” and are now the busy parents of nine children ages 5-16.
SHRINK THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT
Our nation was founded on a bedrock of individual liberty, limited government, and constitutional principles. Bloated government is not unique to the federal level – we need to shrink the size of government at the state level in Kentucky through efforts that remove redundancy and waste in every department.
As Governor, Matt will dedicate one senior member of his staff whose sole job will be to find and eliminate waste and improve efficiencies in state government.
Our plan will cut the Governor’s administrative staff by at least 20%, compared to the current administration, improving efficiency and accountability – just as Jenean and I have done in the private sector. This will be the model for every other department in state government to emulate.
As federal overreach in our education system has grown, positive outcomes have diminished. We need to end the monopoly that exists in Kentucky’s school system by supporting school choice and school vouchers. It’s time to Stop Common Core and its “one size fits all” approach. Instead, let’s empower local school boards, local principals and local teachers to make the decisions that are the best for their students, and most importantly, empower parents over bureaucrats.
LABOR LAW REFORM
Our plan will update our current labor laws that currently result in self-inflicted economic wounds. This begins with passing comprehensive Right to Work legislation and eliminating prevailing wage requirements for state contracts.
It’s time for a Governor who will deal with Kentucky’s unfunded pension liabilities that are in excess of $20 billion and, based on more realistic actuarial assumptions, likely more than double that amount. Continuing to ignore the problem is a threat to public safety, education and other viable government services.
Our plan will fix our public retirement system while ensuring that we meet the existing obligations we have made to retired state workers. This starts with instituting an immediate freeze on the expansion of participants in our current pension plans and implementing a 401(k) style defined contribution plan for new employees.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
Health care reform in Kentucky begins with freezing and beginning to disband KYNECT immediately and assisting as needed in transitioning our citizens quickly from a state run exchange to the federally run healthcare exchange because Kentucky cannot financially afford to do otherwise.
PRESERVE KY’S ENERGY SECTOR
Our administration will aggressively fight against the EPA’s war on the energy sector in Kentucky, particularly the relentless attacks on the coal industry. As Governor, I will exercise, to the fullest extent of the law, our state’s constitutional rights and sovereignty. For example, I will refuse to enforce federal regulations that are in opposition to our own state interests.
Updating and simplifying our antiquated tax code will allow us to better compete with surrounding states. We will focus on raising only the revenue truly necessary to run the state government. We must also take additional steps such as eliminating the state inheritance tax and lowering individual and corporate tax rates. Under my leadership, tax reform will not be based simply on revenue neutrality, but rather, to the extent possible, on reducing tax revenue itself and leaving as much of Kentucky’s wealth in the hands of those who produce it.