Maysville Mercury Interview
Sidle to oppose Massie in 4th congressional district race
He’s young, bright and a relative political newcomer.
He is also enthusiastic, practical and he has definite positions on several important issues facing the citizens of the 4th Congressional District.
Calvin Sidle, 30, also realizes he is facing an uphill battle taking on incumbent Republican Thomas Massie in November, but the Democratic challenger feels strongly that the district is in need of new leadership.
In a telephone conversation with the Maysville Mercury on Thursday afternoon, Sidle spoke of his concerns and the perception of Washington by many disinterested potential voters.
Before we delved into some of the issues facing the district, he offered some background information.
Sidle said he moved frequently while growing up, and lived in 11 states before the age of 18. He attended the University of Pikeville and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History in 2008. He ran for City Commissioner in Pikeville in 2008 and 2012, and he and his wife Chasity moved to Highland Heights in northern Kentucky last summer.
“My wife is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Northern Kentucky University, and we really love the area,” Sidle said. “I am currently an Account Manager at BM2 Freight Services, which is a great, local small business here in Cold Spring.”
Sidle admits to always being a “political junkie” and says the political bug bit him again after moving to northern Kentucky, and he feels that Rep. Massie isn’t doing all he can to help his constituents in the 4th district.
“We have representation at the federal level, but he hasn’t been using the resources he has available to bring the necessary funding to the local level,” he said. “We have a bridge that is crumbling between Cincinnati and Covington (the Brent Spence), and the federal government needs to step in and help out Kentucky. The only thing the other side is saying about me is that I’m a big-spending liberal, but I understand we can’t spend money we don’t have. Many people may not agree with Gov. Bevin and the cuts he made recently, but the state doesn’t have the money, so he has little choice, and that’s where the federal government has to say ‘yes’ at times. To be fair, Rep. Massie has said yes to some bills, but he has said no to any expenditure of federal dollars to help the district, and I respectfully disagree.”
He feels interest in his campaign will increase before November, “because I’m young and inexperienced and I’m not trying to maintain a certain aura.”
Sidle is not a fan of negative campaigning and understands why voter apathy has occurred, especially among younger people.
“We have half a million registered voters in this district and barely better than half showed up to vote in the last election. There has to be a way to make it easier to vote, and we have to look for realistic solutions,” he said. “Everything has become very negative, and many of my Libertarian friends fear the specter of the federal government and tyranny. But I am embracing the heritage of the Democratic Party and not running away from it, it’s all about keeping at it.”
Sidle calls the drug abuse problem “a huge issue and we could lose a generation to pills and heroin. We have to let doctors and sociologists do their jobs. Too many politicians believe they have all the answers and they can legislate the problem.”
Sidle would also like to get to Washington to engage in meaningful, bipartisan discussions on important issues and says many past problems have been solved by having “hard conversations and listening to people with good ideas.”
In an email message prior to our phone conversation, Sidle said the following:
“The highest priority for me is increasing infrastructure spending in this area. Northern Kentucky has crumbling bridges and roads everywhere could use some work. Broadband Internet is also a major hurdle to increase local competitiveness in the global economy. There are a lot of projects that are well within the desired outcomes of the federal budget and money that can come back to this district to provide jobs and invest in the future of our area. Another major project on my mind is figuring out how to deal with the massive drug problem, not just in our district, but also in the country. Heroin and prescription pills have left this area torn and scarred with families left to pick up the pieces. We have to do more. Through research and practical, best-practices based, criminal justice reforms we can provide a brighter future for the next generation.”
More specific information concerning Sidle’s platform, including his positions on climate change, transportation, drug abuse, education, and health and human services, can be found by visiting www.calvinsidle.com.
Kentucky's 4th congressional district is a long district that follows the Ohio River. The majority of voters live in the suburban Cincinnati counties of Boone, Kenton and Campbell.
The district is currently represented by Republican Thomas Massie, who was elected in a special election in 2012 to succeed Republican Geoff Davis, who resigned on July 31, 2012 citing family concerns.