A two-term member of the Lawrence County Council is seeking a higher office this May.
Mark Mathis of Bedford is running for District 65 state representative, seeking to be the Republican nominee to try to replace Eric Koch. Rep. Koch, R-Bedford, is running for state senate.
Mathis is a full-time Christian minister at Grace Fellowship Church in Harrodsburg. He runs Indiana Rifle Supply from his home, and he’s a contractor for Contingent Services, a telecommunications company.
He and his wife of 23 years, Samantha, are raising six sons and three daughters, whom they home-school.
“I am a Christian by choice and an American by birth. I am an Army veteran, a patriot and a conservative. I am pro-America, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-family, pro-child, pro-gun, pro-military, pro-English, and pro-states’ rights. I will be faithful to the Constitution, my wife, my family and my God,” he said in a candidacy announcement.
Mathis served with the Army National Guard after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He is a staunch supporter of free speech and the right to bear arms.
“Right now, the greatest threat to the Constitution is not a foreign army massing at our borders but elected leadership that knowingly seeks to destroy it from within,” he said on his website.
He is in favor of local and state boards of education making decisions about curriculum, schedules, class sizes and education methods, without the involvement of the federal government. He said he’d like to see “useless” ISTEP testing removed and money be directed toward raising teacher salaries.
“Next to parenting, teaching is the most important occupation on the planet. With local decision making, increased incentives and allowing teachers to actually teach, we can attract the cream of the educational crop into our schools,” he said.
Mathis supports the idea of erecting a physical barrier along the southern border of the United States. He’d also like to impose penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and eliminate the ability for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants to gain citizenship.
“I believe that if your Christian convictions do not affect your decisions, then you don’t have any Christian convictions,” he said in his statement of candidacy.
“If elected, I will do all within my power to secure the freedom, security and prosperity of all Hoosiers.”
Occupation: Minister, home-based business owner and telecommunications contractor
Political experience: Two terms on the Lawrence County Council
Family: Wife, Samantha; six sons and three daughters