Ben Nolan.jpg

Ben Nolan 

In order to run for state representative, the candidate must be at least 24 years old at the time of the election.

Ben Nolan, a Democrat who is running for the state House District 56 seat, will celebrate his 24th birthday 15 days after the Nov. 3 election.

Nolan says if he wins, he plans to challenge that rule since he will be 24 by the time he would be sworn into office.

Should state House of Representatives District 56 candidate Ben Nolan remove himself from the ballot since he won't turn the minimum 24 years old until 15 days after the Nov. 3 election?

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Nolan is running to replace Rep. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles, who is giving up the seat in order to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by former Gov. Julian Carroll.

District 56 covers all of Woodford County and parts of Franklin and Fayette counties.

As a lifelong Frankfort resident, Nolan believes his connection to the area and his experience traveling around the country for his job make him qualified to run for office despite his age.

Nolan graduated from Franklin County High School in 2015. Now, he owns his own concrete polishing business, a trade he taught himself by watching YouTube videos.

Nolan doesn’t like to call himself a politician. He says he was inspired to run for office after visiting the House chamber and witnessing a member of the General Assembly watching Netflix on an iPad under his desk.

“I don’t want (Kentucky) to get left behind,” he said, adding that the world is changing quickly.

Nolan’s platform is based on four issues: infrastructure, public education, public safety and health care.

On infrastructure, Nolan would like to see roads improve, especially the stretch of U.S. 60 that connects Frankfort and Versailles.

“There’s a ton of stuff we can do and that will create jobs,” Nolan said.

As for public education, Nolan said he’d like to see the curriculum changed to include more classes on website coding and economics to help give people the skills they need to succeed as adults.

While at Franklin County High, Nolan was a student of social studies teacher Adam Hyatt, who died in a car accident near the Kentucky-Tennessee line last summer.

“He had a huge impact on me,” Nolan said, adding that Hyatt’s passion for his students and his job was an inspiration to Nolan.

If elected, Nolan hopes to establish a scholarship or grant in Hyatt’s name.

In the realm of health care, Nolan hopes to research drug prices and what Kentucky can do to help lower the cost.

For those who think Nolan is too young to run for office, he argues he’s the most experienced candidate.

“It’s one thing to say you’re ‘Kentucky-born’ and ‘been in Kentucky my whole life’; I think that’s a disadvantage,” Nolan said. “When you travel around and see what’s actually happening in other parts of the world … also I don’t think it actually matters because the world is moving so quickly.”

Nolan said he grew up with technology and has kept up with technology.

“I think that means I’m more equipped to handle what’s to come,” he added.

Nolan is one of three Democrats running for the District 56 seat. The others are Lamar Allen and Bob Gibson.

The Democratic primary is May 19. The candidate who receives the most votes will face Republican candidate Daniel Fister in the general election on Nov. 3.

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