MACEO, Ky. (WBKO) — Matt Castlen started a welding business when he was a teenager.
“Started welding in the evenings in my garage, just to create some extra income,” Castlen said.
He’s turned his one man business into a 50 person operation across Daviess and Warren County.
“This is kind of the heartbeat of our company. All of the projects that we do, all over the state and other states adjoining it, all start right here,” Castlen added.
Now, Castlen is part of a republican wave that hit Kentucky November 8th winning the 14th district state house race.
“Everybody signs up to work hard and go after a victory, but it was a neat experience to be out there. We worked really hard, my wife and I,” Castlen said.
Castlen defeated long-time democratic incumbent Tommy Thompson by almost 30%.
“I think people were unhappy with the direction of the country. You’ve seen the downturn of the coal market. You’ve seen the moral compass of this country kind of derail. I think people started realizing it was time for good people to stand up and do something about it.” said Castlen.
He’s never served in public office, but said he’s got some things he’d like to accomplish.
“There are some different ways we can look at the tax structure to maintain, also help grow the economy here in the community and retain other businesses.If we want to help grow the economy and get businesses to locate in Kentucky, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the infrastructure that will support it,” Castlen added.
Castlen is one of 23 new faces, and a party that will have a super majority in Frankfort.
“We’ve been given a great responsibility to govern a body, and I think myself, knowing this responsibility that’s been laid on us, that we do it in a great, fair way, that benefits all of Kentucky,” Castlen said.
The legislature will meet in January.
Castlen said he also wants to help end abortion.
The presumed next speaker of the house, Jeff Hoover, is having a meeting tomorrow to discuss goals for the 2017 session.