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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
HARDIN COUNTY — Two military men are running for Kentucky’s 26th District House seat at a time when the Fort Knox realignment is expected to transform the region.
Both Republican incumbent Tim Moore, a lieutenant colonel for the Kentucky Air National Guard, and Democratic challenger Mike Weaver, a retired Army colonel, said Base Realignment and Closure is the biggest development for Hardin County in years.
The 26th District, which includes Radcliff, Vine Grove and northern Elizabethtown, has strong ties to adjacent Fort Knox. The Army post over the next few years will be changed into more of an administrative center, bringing in thousands of civilian jobs, many of them high-paying.
“That kind of influx of jobs and growth is a huge asset to any community,” Moore said.
The 42-year-old Elizabethtown resident, who has served in the legislature since the beginning of last year, said he kindled enthusiasm about the realignment among lawmakers after explaining its regional impact.
Weaver has criticized him for not having a “seat at the table.”
Moore, however, said he has been a regular participant in the process and he often communicated with the small group of legislatures involved in the final budget process.
Also, the $100 million invested in roads and other infrastructure to prepare the surrounding community for the changes on post was not to the credit of any individual, Moore said.
“I’ve always wanted to serve in a different kind of way,” he said. “I don’t do anything half hearted.”
Weaver, 69, said if the realignment is done correctly, it will affect everything from education to the economy. Also, during these tough fiscal times, it can boost both the local and state economy.
He touted his ability to deal with the realignment, citing his: Army career; association with Fort Knox leadership; decade in the House and the current Democratic majority.
The Radcliff man represented the 26th District from 1996 until 2006, when he unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Congress against long-time incumbent Ron Lewis.
He said if elected he would regain the seniority he had when he left the House and he would have a strong voice that would be needed if the budget is opened back up next year.
“I do not have to go up to Frankfort and learn the system,” he said. “I already know those people; I already know the system and will hit the ground running.”
Voters will decide the race Nov. 4.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.