Nelson announces run for Mayor

Published 9:16 am Monday, September 25, 2017

With a theme of “open and honest government,” state Rep. Rick Nelson has announced he will seek the office of Middlesboro Mayor, subject to the May 2018 Primary.

“I have enjoyed representing the citizens of the 87th House District in Bell and Harlan counties, and have done so to the very best of my ability,” Nelson said. “Staying in Frankfort from January through April every year, and being away from home is difficult, and I want to be able to contribute locally. If elected mayor, I promise to work full-time to help our city. If elected, I will not take a salary, instead using my mayor’s salary to help the city meet the city’s bottom line.”

The son of a coal miner, Nelson outlined several priorities he would pursue during his administration as mayor:

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1. Ensuring the city is in good financial shape. “We will make sure that our citizens receive a dollar’s worth of services for every dollar of taxes they pay.”

2. Ensuring city departments have structure and good leadership to provide the protection and services to citizens. “I believe in structure for our departments, and I believe that our citizens do as well.”

3. Cleaning up Middlesboro and enforcing and updating our building codes. “Cleaning up vacant lots, burned out houses and making sure rental property is maintained, will be appreciated by most of our residents, and make our town a better place to live.”

4. Addressing the drug epidemic. “It’s destroying our town. We promise to be as aggressive as possible to try and get a grip on this problem. Whatever it takes, we will do it.”

As mayor, Nelson said he would maintain a website for the city of Middlesboro where all financial information will be posted, “including the money we take in and every dollar we spend.” All job positions would be posted, too, “so that everyone interested can apply, and if they meet the qualifications, they will get an interview.”

“I ask for your consideration of the office of mayor at this critical time in our city’s history,” Nelson said. “I pledge to work with our city council and all citizens and ask them to become more involved with our city government.”

The candidate has been married to his wife, Inetta, for 41 years, and the couple have made Middlesboro their home throughout that time. Nelson is a member and deacon of the West Cumberland Avenue Baptist Church and has served the citizens of District 87 since 2001. He and his wife are both retired school teachers with 30 years of service each.

As state representative, Nelson earmarked more than $13 million dollars in projects and funds to the city of Middlesboro.

For more information on Nelson’s candidacy, contact him at (606) 248-8828 or