by Skip Daley – South Central Indiana News Network
With just 2 days to go before the 2022 Indiana Primary, many races have heated up; but locally, perhaps none as much as the Republican race for District 62 State Representative.
Current District 62 Representative Jeff Ellington announced several months ago that he has moved to Greene County, to property he owns there and is a candidate for the newly redistricted House District 45. This move leaves a vacancy, upon which 3 contenders had filed for candidacy on the Republican ticket. Those interested in serving were Myra Kinser, Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott, and Dave Hall.
Click here to view the 2021 adopted redistricted map for the Indiana State House of Representatives
Kinser had her candidacy challenged based on residency matters. The official challenge was issued by Amanda Lowery, the Recorder for Jackson County, but there are numerous claims circulating on social media, that the matter was orchestrated by fellow Candidate Dave Hall. Those accusations have not been confirmed by The South Central Indiana News Network.
The official decision to remove her name from the ballot came in February, but it was not until early April that Kinser’s appeal was denied, stating that she had not resided in the Indiana House District for at least one year before the election.
With just a couple of weeks left before the May 3rd Primary and just two candidates left in the race, the heat between them intensified. Supporters of each candidate have been extremely vocal, and the campaigning has become more personal. The matter even had the local County Republican Party Administration weighing in online.
Now, with just days before voters will take to the polls to make their selection, we caught up with both Dave Hall and Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott. Here’s what they had to say . . .
What is your vision for the state legislature over the next two years, should you get elected?
“So, for me I’m a southern Indiana conservative. I’m a farmer, I’m a small business owner. I’ve been on the council now for six years. I’m in my sixth year.
I want to take the common-sense conservative voice to the State House to represent our district and the people of our district. And, there are needs in Brown County that are unique to Brown County – with the amount of state park land that they have and their tax revenue, with a small population and a large influx of visitors each year.
So, there’s a lot of burden put on them to maintain roads, and police, and fire, and EMS for over three million people that come in each year as visitors to the state parks.
And, Monroe County is unique in the annexation issue that they’re dealing with and then the local income tax increase that’s been proposed there also.”
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“Well, I think we need new leadership. Number one, it’s taken us 10 years to get constitutional carry passed, and that we were the 24th state to pass it. It shouldn’t have taken us 10 years – we shouldn’t have been the 24th. We should have been one of the first, because we’re one of the most Republican states in the entire country.
So, I think we need new leadership that’s willing to push through these conservative bills, conservative legislation, let it to the floor because they’re blocking a lot of good conservative legislation. They’re blocking it, and bottling up in committee. We need new leadership.”
What is your number one priority once you take office, should you get elected?
“I’d say drug addiction, for sure. I mean we. We have got . . . we have fought a losing battle for decades and we’ve built bigger jails in almost every county, and we’ve filled those jails up and then continued to add-on and build bigger jails.
And, I think we need to rethink the way that we how non-violent offenders and if someone is suffering from drug addiction or mental health issues, we need to help them while they’re serving their time, to help them not come back into our jail and into our court system again.”
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“The first is obviously annexation. We’re in a race with the Mayor of Bloomington; and actually, people over in Brown County are facing the same issue in Nashville – the county residents don’t want to be annexed. They’re being forced into it by the Town of Nashville and by the City of Bloomington.
So, we need to ban forced annexation throughout the entire state permanently. We’re one of only three states that allows that – Indiana, Idaho, and Tennessee. So, I think we need to catch up to the other 47 states and let it be up to the county property owners.
The Mayor has a lawsuit going on. I think he’s going to win that, but we need to beat him to the punch. Because, if he gets all those waivers, you know, with that lawsuit, he’d be able to push that annexation through. We need to block him so that he can have a million waivers if he wants to, but they won’t do him any good.”
Why are you the best choice to represent district 62?
“My experience, I mean, I have a proven conservative track record over in my six years on the council. We’re doing a 100 million-dollar broadband fiber project at the Jackson County Arms, where I’m an elected Director. There, we’ve connected over 9000 homes across ten different counties and in the southern part of Indiana. And on the Jackson County Council, we have not raised taxes.
We’ve added two new sheriff’s deputies. We’ve given pay raises to ours to our sheriff’s department. We built a work release center without increasing taxes. We avoided a jail building project by building network Release Centre and I think these, now, these experiences that I’ve had, will fill those same needs that the state has with broadband internet issues and with those drug addiction issues that we’re suffering from in our communities.”
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“Because I’m a fighter. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s within my own party, if they’re doing the wrong thing. Or, if it’s Joe Biden doing the wrong thing. Because we’re not standing up, we’re not using our states’ rights. We have the 10th amendment at our disposal, we’re not using it.
Other states are using it. Missouri is using it, they passed the Second Amendment Protection Act that makes it a crime for state and local law enforcement to enforce federal gun control, because of course, it’s all unconstitutional. So, Federal gun control is not being enforced by state and local law enforcement in Missouri, because they don’t want to go to jail. I can’t blame them.
But there’s other issues, you know, the people that are further on the left end of the spectrum, they’ve used it effectively for many years now with marijuana. 37 states have legalized marijuana in some form or another, even though it’s still, by Federal Law, illegal in all 50 states – that’s what we call Nullification.
The people think it’s a relic of the Civil War era, or that it’s racist or something like that. But Nullification is our right as the people to stand up whenever the Federal Government acts outside its bounds, acts outside of Article One, Section Eight – those few undefined powers that we’ve given We, the people in the many states have given them, and it’s time we start using it like Missouri did. And like those 37 states did for marijuana.”
There’s been a lot of contention, a lot of animosity, over the past few weeks in the District 62 race. Why has it seemingly gotten so ugly?
“That’s one-sided it’s completely one-sided. I have focused my attention on delivering my message to the people of district 62. What makes me the best candidate? The experiences that I’m bringing to the table and what I’m going to do for them at the state House.
You know, my opponent’s behavior is his decision and I’m not going to respond to it. You know, I’ve knocked on 1500 doors, probably since December, and talked to hundreds of people and heard the issues that they’ve got, and shared my thoughts. And you know, I think, I think they need someone that can help build bridges and not tear others down.
And, I’m not going to respond to, his campaign tactics. I’m just going to continue with what I feel is the best use of my time, and I think that’s reaching voters and spreading that message, and connecting with them.”
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“Well, I think the problem is we’re both running as conservatives, or at least we say, that we’re conservative. I know I am. I know I’m an authentic conservative, and, you know, a liberty-loving person.
But the problem is, everybody runs that way. Every Republican runs that way. And then what happens? They get elected, they go up to the statehouse, and they cave.
And who did they cave to? It’s the Republican leadership, and they tell freshmen, ‘you better do X, Y, and Z, or else we’re recruiting a primary challenger for you – and we’ll fund that primary challenger. We will make sure that you lose if you don’t do what we say, even though what we’re telling you to do was against all your campaign promises to your primary voters’.
So, they all cave, and I know a few who didn’t – Curt Nisly, one, and I would be like him, I’d be a fighter. I wouldn’t cave – I’d stand up to them, even if that means I’m a ‘one-termer’ . . so be it.”
We asked Candidate Knott about his recent controversial campaign mailer:
Over this past week, a mailer went out from your campaign, and it’s received a lot of attention. Do you have anything you wish to get out there and share about that mailer?
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“Yeah, I’m really disappointed in the Indianapolis Star. The headline they used was completely misrepresentative of not only the mailer but the body of the story itself. The only people that I was, “attacking,” were my opponent and the Governor. And that’s because I felt like they were, you know, trying to say that they’re conservative. And there’s some issues where the voters I’ve talked – to the conservative voters I’ve talked to – who have seen this post about immigration from my opponent, they didn’t think that post was conservative.
So how can somebody say they’re ‘a proven conservative’ when every conservative voter I talked to you that sees that post says they don’t think that’s conservative.
So that’s who the contrast was with, it was with my opponent, and also with the Governor as far as the transgender athletes ban. I think it’s shameful that the Governor vetoed that. I’ve talked to not just Republicans, but Democrats and Independents, anyone who has a girl in high school athletics, or anyone else. They can see that it’s not fair competition to let people who are born male compete against girls in high school athletics.”
There’s a lot of social media chatter right now about this recent mailer, and the word racism is coming up. Would you care to address that?
Greg ‘No Bull’ Knott:
“I think if people see the mailer itself, I don’t think that they’ll think it’s racist. I know I didn’t intend it to be racist. I intended it to be, here’s a candidate running in the Republican primary who’s claiming – his whole entire slogan is, ‘I’m a proven conservative with real-world experience’.
Well, if that’s true, then why did he make that post? The mailer was about the post [Dave Hall made]. It wasn’t about anybody from any other country, regardless of their skin color. It had nothing to do with race, I certainly wasn’t attacking those people. It was attacking the statement by my opponent that he’s a proven conservative with real-world experience, because the voters I’ve showed that to – I’ve been to over 1200 doors, and people ask me about it.
I don’t bring immigration up, it’s not really a state-level issue. In my view, it’s more of a Federal Government issue that people care about so much. They asked me about immigration, and that’s when I showed him this post [from Dave Hall], and that’s when they’re very disappointed in my opponent, and they said, ‘that’s not a conservative’. Certainly not proven conservative.”